I am not a manager. However, at my company they have members of the team sit in on interviews to assess potential peers. The other day I saw the worst interview in my entire life! Hopefully, we all can learn from his mistakes.
The gentleman interviewing was an internal applicant. He’s trying to move from an inside sales team to our sales development program. Also, keep in mind, his father has been at the company as the primary recruiter for years so the rumors of nepotism are alive and well
Day Of The Interview
He had a bunch of interviews with different stakeholders before our portion. He had been tasked with a presentation to 12 people with time allotted at the end of a Q&A.
The guy shows up with no tie. Now, call me old fashioned but you always wear a tie to an interview. Better to overdress than under-dress. Next, I am reviewing his resume and it doesn’t even show his current employment or relevant experiences! Always, have your deliverables prepped and updated.
The presentation is underway and he’s doing a canned presentation (canned presentation = one that has been done frequently and not unique to this experience.) I didn’t knock him as much as my other coworkers for the presentation because I get that interviews can be stressful so you want to use a material that has a certain comfort level.
The presentation wrapped up and it wasn’t stellar but not bad. Overall, I’d assign a passing grade but this where things took a turn for the worse. We opened up the floor for the candidate to ask questions. At first, he sat there seemingly without a question. Then mustered up “Why do you want to hire me?” SERIOUSLY?!? That was his question.
Now, when you are in a room full of potential peers and the manager it is a prime opportunity to inquire about team dynamics, culture, processes, strategy, etc. Don’t make it about you. Unfortunately, his follow up question wasn’t much better with “Hypothetically, if things continue to progress when do I start?” To be frank, I understand the school thought of being extremely confident, speaking it into existence and guiding others to a foregone conclusion you believe that has been established.
It is critical to be able to read a room and understand when and how to be bold. I’m a big believer that fortune favors the bold. But there is a stark contrast between self-awareness and being bold. Example, if you are at the end of your 1 on 1 interview I’m not opposed to asking “How did I do? Or Can I have the job?” That plays much differently than the scenario I explained above.
Ultimately, the decision is up to HR and Management. All of us on the team were vehemently opposed to this candidate. But time will tell. I thought the candidate lacked self-awareness and did not prepare for the opportunity. Learn from his mistakes. Take the time to prepare and for goodness sakes wear a damn tie.
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