Get the Most from an Interview (Part Two)

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Watch for the Halo Effect

During an interview people will be on their best behavior and tell you all the things that you want to hear.  They will tell you how dependable, honest, hardworking and quick learning they are (or what they want you to believe anyway.) Many times the potential new hire will try to create a HALO EFFECT.   They want you to think they are mommy’s little angel and as they very well may be, I’ve found that if they try too hard to convince you of it, it’s probably not true.

This may be a character flaw on my part, but when someone brings up religion too often during an interview it is a turn off in my mind.  I have my own beliefs and do not judge others in what they believe.   I do feel however that when someone tries to use their beliefs as leverage with me (even if I believe the same way) I find it a little offensive. I’d be more than happy to speak to them about it, just not in this setting. I find it really offensive if what they are saying about their beliefs aren’t true and hold no weight.  What kind of person would do something like that?  Someone who has NO CHARACTER that’s who.

This is such dangerous ground because if this person will lie about this to gain leverage they aren’t above filing a religious discrimination case if you don’t hire them.  Those who fake it aren’t above it. The easiest thing to do is avoid any faith based conversations during an interview.  It’s unfair to what you believe, the interviewee and the interviewer.  It’s simple to discern if what they are saying has any merit to it or not.  Call their references!  Simply ask if they can tell you something about their character.  If it’s legit, they will let you know at this point.  If it’s not, they will start reaching for straws.

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8 thoughts on “Get the Most from an Interview (Part Two)

  1. I laugh at the “strength as a weakness”, “I care too much” “I get too involved in my projects” etc.
    so, how do you feel about people that come in and don’t have any questions for you? Does that throw up any flags?

    • Ha. I laugh at them. “Well what questions do you have for me?” “I think you answered everything”

      “Okay good. That makes this simple. Have a great day and I’ll let you know if something opens up you’d be a good fit for.”

  2. Rajiv says:

    I like both your posts on interviewing, but I am going to be lazy and comment on both posts in one shot.
    I am in a middle-middle ground, where I am taking a sabbatical from the corporate world. While I keep one door open for a return to the corporate world ( I need the money to put my kids through college ), I am also exploring the world of entrepreneurship. This is a stage of my life where I am learning intensely about myself, and getting real insights into people. It is a very good phase, but a dangerous phase.
    However, on the interview part. I recently was offered a job, and turned it down much to the chagrin of the search firm and the recruiting company. They assumed that, because I am “footloose and fancy free”, I would be very keen to join at any cost, and were very rude when I started to negotiate my package. I refused the offer because I decided that I did not want to work for a company that, while professing “human” values, displayed contempt at the first step in the negotiation.

    A hiring manager must never, never forget that recruitment is a two way street – the candidate markets himself/herself to the organisation. Likewise, the organisation markets itself to the candidate. Arrogant recruiting managers often do their organisations poor service when they display callousness during the recruitment process.

    • You are right. It’s truly an honor when someone decides they want to accept your offer. It’s never a given. And to get good people, sometimes you have to pull a few strings (they are normally worth it).

  3. The one thing I think you missed here is the other key element in the interview: Verify their skills.

    In today’s work environment, certain skills are an absolute MUST. An employee in most instances should know how to work with a computer to do basic office tasks efficiently. Half of my coworkers are completely afraid of their computers and blame them for the most outlandish failures. The failure isn’t the computers’ faults, but rather the users. It stuns me how often companies interview for a position, but fail to have a simple exercise where the person shows their skills. Whether it’s an office position or an assembly position in a factory, the skills (or ability to acquire the skills) ought to be demonstrated prior to candidate selection.

    • Verifying someone’s abilities is a must as you say. I can see where you are coming from because people will stretch the facts to get what they want and sometimes need.

      Recently I’ve began extending the interview process to include experiencing job duties. I explain this is to determine if they will be a good fit and they will be in competition with another employee (the best one wins so to speak). Plus you be tied down to hiring them.

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