….the seven minute and five minute nails in the coffin

Eric is really a good candidate. Admittedly he’s only been in his profession for 10 years so, he’s a bit young, but nonetheless a great candidate. We gave him the job search solution online program (www.thejobsearchsolution.com) as we do with all of our candidates who we get interviews for. He took the course, especially the part about initial interviews and telephone interviews. Admittedly, the first interview we got him was with one of our toughest clients. It was to be a 30 minute telephone interview with a regional director.

According to the regional director, he asked Eric one question and Eric took s-e-v-e-n minutes to answer it. Seven minutes! We asked the regional director how he knew it was seven minutes and he said, “I timed him.” The regional directors said that after Eric had gone on for six minutes he said to the man, “Well, I guess what I’m trying to say is…” and then answered the question…the whole question… in two sentences. Had Eric simply given him the answer that he gave at the end of the seven minutes, he would’ve answered the question. According to the regional director Eric even said, “I know I’m going on too long.”

The regional director asked another question and said that he timed Eric again and Eric spoke nonstop for five minutes. The regional director had tremendous empathy for Eric but ended the interview then.

The lesson? Practice interviewing. Answers, especially over the phone should never be more than 2 to 3 minutes and that’s when you are telling a story. And the time with a question like “Did I make that clear?”

In debriefing with Eric, he told our recruiter that he realized he had talked way too much and that he had learned from his mistake. Eric is a good guy and he probably has learned from it, but boy it’s painful.

A wise man learns by mistakes…a wiser man learns by others mistakes.

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