…saying stupid things

It seems like I spend a lot of time writing about people not thinking through the interviewing process and saying stupid things that end up costing them a job…

This week we had one candidate who, in a final phone interview with an HR director… right before they were going to offer him a job… was asked why he left one of his previous jobs… he said he thought for a moment and then said, “well, they told me it was because of sexual harassment, but I didn’t do anything and I really don’t know what they were talking about.”

In speaking to the candidate, he told us his old company owed him $60,000 and according to his contract, if he was fired for cause they wouldn’t have to pay money. Okay… fair enough. He said he had absolutely no idea where the sexual harassment accusation came from, but that’s what their lawyer told him when he asked why he was let go. He never investigated or questioned the dismissal. He simply let it go.

There was absolutely no reason for him to tell the HR director he was dismissed because of a sexual harassment charge. It is nowhere in his record. He was never given any reprimand… nothing. Why would anyone tell an HR director they were dismissed for sexual harassment if no one has a record of it and, more importantly, it didn’t happen? This was not some low-level, rookie candidate. He was a guy with 20 years of experience who had earned well into six figures. So he can’t claim ignorance. Maybe stupidity… but not ignorance.

Another one of our candidates told  one our clients he was dismissed “with cause” but didn’t know what the cause was. He claimed he knew he was fired for a good reason but couldn’t remember what the reason was. Even after we asked the candidate to think really hard about what he said, he still claimed he couldn’t remember exactly why he was fired.

This week, another one of our candidates was asked by the hiring authority if he had any questions.  According to the hiring authority, the candidate said, “geez, I never thought of that question…I guess I’m not prepared.”

Another one of our candidates, upon arriving in the hiring authority’s office, announced that she only had 15 or 20 minutes to interview because she had to go pick up her kids at school.

 Our organization deals with highly educated, very professional people in just about every discipline. And I’ll admit these are only a few examples of the hundreds of candidates we talk to and work with.

People have to think!…THINK… they need to ask themselves, “how does this sound to a hiring authority?” What HR director in their right mind is going to recommend hiring somebody who tells them they were fired for sexual harassment.

I don’t know what else to say…

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