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What has been your experience interviewing job candidates?

 
 
Linkat
 
Reply Tue 11 May, 2010 10:34 am
I have been recently interviewing candidates for positions at my workplace. Yes we have a few jobs - they are professional jobs that require at a minimum a 4 year college degree and a couple of years experience.

The majority of interviews have been painful - candidates are not prepared. They do not seem to know they company very well or the position (even though you can easily find this information on our company website).

Could you answer me this - why the h*ll in a bad economy would some one not prepare at least a little? Most could not answer the very basic interview questions - like what interests you in the position - note answering you do not like your current position does not tell me what interests you this job.
 
George
 
  1  
Reply Tue 11 May, 2010 11:32 am
Makes you wonder how they got those previous jobs.
chai2
 
  1  
Reply Tue 11 May, 2010 11:45 am
oh linkat

I think I've posted enough loooooong posts on this to indicate my feelings on this.

I won't get into it, at least for the moment.

I will say though, that I feel many people here have a very unrealistic idea of what it's like to screen and interview candidates for a job.

Very intelligent, well meaning people on A2K, who I admire quite a bit, want to think that an applicant will, in their own interest, conduct themselves in a manner either similar to them, or at least understand what IS in their best self interest.

It is absolutley amazing to me how people shoot themselves in the foot from square 1.

I'll read along for awhile.
0 Replies
 
Cycloptichorn
 
  1  
Reply Tue 11 May, 2010 11:54 am
@Linkat,
I've interviewed maybe 50 people for positions over the last 2 years, and about 35 of those people were totally not what I would considered well-prepared for the interview. I have experienced these same feelings of dismay.

Cycloptichorn
Robert Gentel
 
  1  
Reply Tue 11 May, 2010 11:58 am
You should see how some Costa Rica applicants have been for me. Some of the resumes are pretty much just their name and phone number, some have acted with suspicion when we call them "where did you get my number?" "From the resume you sent us." "Sorry, I won't accept your scam job." "We weren't offering you a job yet, we wanted to interview you." "Sorry, I don't dare accept an interview."

Then there are the ones who click "apply" on every single job on the site, even if they don't understand what it is....

Oh well, more power to the ones who come prepared, and coherent.
George
 
  1  
Reply Tue 11 May, 2010 12:10 pm
@Robert Gentel,
surreal
0 Replies
 
Linkat
 
  1  
Reply Tue 11 May, 2010 12:16 pm
@George,
Some had been working contract jobs and some were laid off - guess that doesn't surprise me - the one that did more so was the internal candidate - one would have hoped he would have been better prepared.

I even interviewed one candidate that on paper was a dream - exactly the experience and education you would have wanted. It was the scariest interview ever. The idiot couldn't find the place - and was stupid enough to call me for directions minutes before the interview rather than ask anyone in the area walking around. I could have let that go, but once in the interview he could not complete a thought, I did not know what he was saying - couldn't make heads or tails out of it.

0 Replies
 
Linkat
 
  1  
Reply Tue 11 May, 2010 12:18 pm
@Cycloptichorn,
But it isn't hard to be prepared especially for a large company - pull up the damn website - I had an idiot interview where I worked previously that kept referring to our company as "the bank" - finally letting him know we were not a bank. At least he was smart to realize that most likely put the nail in his coffin.

And can't some one simply look up common interview questions and have some answers with thought behind them? Even if they have the qualifications and experience - I don't want to hire someone that gives such little preparation for a job they supposedly want. Seems scary what they must do if they don't want something...but needs to do it.
Intrepid
 
  1  
Reply Tue 11 May, 2010 12:38 pm
@Linkat,
Everything you described is, unfortunately, the way things are today. Many people have somebody else make up the resume and, quite often, what is written in it.

I hope that you are picking up on these things early enough in the interview to cut it off when it becomes obvious that you have a non-candidate.

I am no longer in the corporate world and certainly do not miss that part of it.

And remember.....education does not equate to intelligence. Happy interviewing.
Phoenix32890
 
  1  
Reply Tue 11 May, 2010 12:46 pm
I am retired, and for many years I interviewed candidates for bachelor's degree entry level jobs. I was often dismayed by the lack of the ability of a college graduate to write a coherent sentence. Another big gripe of mine was that many of these people appeared not to have the ability to abstract, and to generalize learning from one situation to another.

Looks like nothing much has changed!
Rolling Eyes
0 Replies
 
George
 
  1  
Reply Tue 11 May, 2010 01:23 pm
My son went on an interview last week. I sat down with him and talked
him through it. I thought he went in pretty well prepared. As it turned
out, most of the interview time was spent with the interviewers explaining
the job to him and showing him around.
0 Replies
 
Cycloptichorn
 
  2  
Reply Tue 11 May, 2010 01:32 pm
Reading this thread sorta clues me in as to why I've landed every job I've ever interviewed for.

Cycloptichorn
roger
 
  1  
Reply Tue 11 May, 2010 01:38 pm
@Robert Gentel,
For roughnecks in the oilfield, we didn't do resumes. We did keep a signup sheet asking name, phone number, and experience. Can't believe how many didn't give a phone number. Maybe we're supposed to go looking around for them when we needed somebody.
0 Replies
 
jespah
 
  1  
Reply Tue 11 May, 2010 02:21 pm
@Linkat,
It's amazing to me (because I know of this company) -- man oh man! It's a large, good company. Pay is usually very good. What the hell are people thinking?
Linkat
 
  2  
Reply Tue 11 May, 2010 02:45 pm
@Intrepid,
Agreed on the education part - and another "funny" thing - typos on a professional resume. The really ironic thing is one of the very important skills is to be detail oriented - really amusing when they state that someone in a cover letter or in an interview.

I've been keeping my interviews to 30 minutes. I can usually tell right away if they are really bad and it ends in less than 30 minutes. The few good ones are tough to keep to the short time frame.
0 Replies
 
Linkat
 
  1  
Reply Tue 11 May, 2010 02:47 pm
@Cycloptichorn,
If you come prepared - know something about the position and company, have the basic qualifications - you end up looking so much better than the crap I've been talking to.
0 Replies
 
Linkat
 
  2  
Reply Tue 11 May, 2010 02:48 pm
@jespah,
And the worst two locally (I'm also interviewing over the phone for our TX location) were internal candidates! I would have expected more from them!
0 Replies
 
rosborne979
 
  2  
Reply Tue 11 May, 2010 03:13 pm
@Linkat,
I typically weed through about 40 resumes in order to get 10 people worth calling. Then phone conversations allow me to eliminate 8 of the 10 and I interview the 2 remaining. Out of those 2, I have a 50% chance of finding someone I consider a viable new-hire.

When I was in High-Tech, we used to do internship programs for programmers in college to get them extra credit for their courses. Typically, in every group of 10 individuals, 8 students would be completely clueless about what they were trying to do. They would spend weeks complaining about how they had to re-install their OS because it crashed. That was the "dog ate my homework" excuse of the early 2000's. It sounded like they were actually doing something technical, when in fact they just didn't know ****.

I think the natural ratio of people who don't know ****, to people who do, is about 10 to 1. I don't know why, but in a random sampling, I think that's about what you get.

How many people does Jay Leno have to stop on a street corner and ask simple questions before he gets someone who has a clue? All we ever see are the ones who fail, because it makes better TV, but I bet it's around 10 to 1.


0 Replies
 
spendius
 
  0  
Reply Tue 11 May, 2010 03:27 pm
I always chose the one I fancied most. There are plenty of people who can do what they are told.
0 Replies
 
plainoldme
 
  1  
Reply Tue 11 May, 2010 05:10 pm
Wow! I have a word to offer from the other side, the interviewee.

I substitute taught at a public high school in my small, rural town during the spring 2008 semester. I worked closely with the principal's secretary. It was one of those schools in which the assistant principal and the principal's secretary did all the work.

We became friends in the way one does at work. I ran into her downtown and she told me that she had interviewed for the position of secretary to the superintendent.

This is an intelligent, warm woman who had been with the system for 25 years. The superintendent's office is in the high school. She is a recent widow and found her salary inadequate and so wanted to work for the superintendent as the job paid more.

She was confronted with a bank of six people, including the superintendent, the principal of the high school, the middle school and how many elementary schools there are. It was a grueling interview that lasted an hour.

That matches the stories of interviews I have heard from people of all ages and all walks of life. Interviews by panels consisting of three to six people with long, drawn out processes.

A neighboring town, Amherst, home to two colleges and the flagship school of the U-Mass system and one of the better public school systems in the state, recently broke the contract of the superintendent of schools, who had been there for a single academic year. The school board in Amherst has a personnel department. Not all school systems do. Certainly, there were none when I graduated from college. The school board is made up of people from this highly educated community. They chose to hire through a consultant.

Really? The consultant was paid $40,000, or an average teacher's salary. This from a school system that is feeling the pinch of these hard times.

One member of the board publicly demanded the woman conduct another search . . . gratis. I feel that the community is sufficiently equipped to hire its own superintendent and that it should chalk up the fee they paid to experience.
 

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