Monday, September 19, 2005

The Seven Deadly Sins of Interviewing

I just wanted to offer this as a resource to candidates and hiring authorities with interview stories. The Ladders is sponsoring a website called "The Seven Deadly Sins of Interviewing." Located at it is humorous and spot on for things to be thoughtful about in an interview situation. I encourage you to check it out if you want to be thoughtful about interview prep or if you have a story to tell about an interviewee who "didn't get it."

Happy Hiring!

Sunday, September 18, 2005

Let’s get back to the shoes….

I wrote last spring about making assumptions based on how people look. I spoke then about the importance of paying attention to detail when you want to make a good impression.

Here are some hard facts: We make 32 different assumptions about another person before he or she ever says a word. If you are the candidate getting ready for an interview – think about this. Preparing what you’re going to say, may not be as important as deciding what you want to wear.

As part of an interviewing team, we tend to establish rapport mostly with those we assume are like us. Many of those 32 assumptions go to that initial impression – again before adding verbal content. Someone who truly wants to hired the best needs to refine his/her interview and hiring process so that it is the most objective it can be. We will talk more about that at another time.

As a candidate, paying attention to every nuance is worth the investment of time and energy; from the quality of the paper your resume is printed on to the expensive shine on your shoes. It is worth the effort, because in this case a first impression is worth 32 separate assumptions all leading to “is this person like me and will I like being with them every day at work.”

Happy hiring.

Tuesday, September 06, 2005

Employers - Man Your Calendars

One of the biggest challenges of the hiring process is effective scheduling for onsite interviews/meetings. The best onsite meetings/interviews usually involve many people from different layers in the organization. Obviously the hiring manager must be present, but so should peers, subordinates (or representatives from subordinate groups) and possibly constituents too if the position is in an internal department with service responsibilities for other groups. As a candidate this type of exposure is wonderful and really gives her/him a good sense of the organization across the enterprise. While this is incredible from the perspective of the hiring process, it is usually a scheduling nightmare.

If you are the internal person responsible for putting together a schedule for an onsite meeting with a potential hire, you know what I mean about the hassle factor associated with getting many busy people available to meet candidates. To facilitate the ease of scheduling candidates, perhaps in advance of having candidates onsite there could be two interview teams identified. If the teams are equally composed with representatives of all the groups which need to have a say in the hiring, then the teams can share the responsibility for seeing candidates. Also, one team could borrow members from the other team if there was a vacancy caused by scheduling challenges.

However, if the staff required to see potential hires isn't deep enough to support developing two interview teams; when a critical player has a scheduling conflict be prepared to backfill with a well orchestrated phone interview for that key player. This still allows the onsite visit to take place, but also allows the conflicted critical player to participate in a timely manner without requiring a complete rescheduling of the onsite meeting.

The impression the company makes with a candidate is important - and a well done onsite interview round is a chance to really let your company shine. Managing the scheduling process so that the onsite flows from meeting to meeting is a challenge but doable with some creative thinking and strategy.

Happy hiring.