Some of you are going to read this and think, “Tony, you are all wet..these are perfectly good reasons NOT to hire someone. They are a reflection of how the candidate will do in the job.”
Just this week we had candidates eliminated at the initial interview for these reasons: (these were not kids… They were pretty senior, experienced professionals)
- He put his phone on the desk next to him and even though it was turned to silent, it kept vibrating.
- The candidate was 20 minutes late to the interview, even though it was raining and she was given the wrong suite number
- The candidate’s phone goes off in her purse during the interview
- The candidate couldn’t remember what he earned five years ago
- The (engineering candidate) wrote a very poor resume
Well, there were probably a lot of these kinds of things with lots of other candidates. Unfortunately, interviewing and hiring authorities have a tendency to come to conclusions about candidates and their abilities to be good employees based on very small and often, very few things. Each one of these candidates was eliminated because of these things they did.
Most of these folks were experienced professionals. Okay, maybe they are not real good at interviewing, or they simply make mistakes. I submit to you that these are not good reasons for
them to get eliminated as candidates. Maybe their interviewing capabilities aren’t so good, but we are trying to hire professionals that are going to help us run our business. We aren’t hiring professional interviewers.
I know these kinds of things will annoy most people that are doing the interviewing. They annoy me when I’m interviewing. But it isn’t smart to judge the candidate’s ability to do a job or their track record based on mistakes like these. In most all of these cases, the interviewing/hiring authority totally dismissed the candidate after these things happened.
Maybe our guard should be up when things like this happen. But to totally dismiss the candidate because of these kinds of things is not only unfair, it’s just not smart. So, let’s all give candidates the benefit of the doubt when it comes to things like this. Let’s analyze their track record, find out how they have performed in the past. Let’s all dig deep into their background, find out their successes and failures, what they can or can’t do for us.
(The engineer graduated from A&M with a 4.0 average in engineering. He had 10 solid years of experience with one firm and had been promoted three times. So, in the eyes of one person he’s a lousy resume writer, but an excellent engineer.)