If you're currently looking for a job you know that it's tough work to get noticed let alone hired in an economy that's still on life support. There's a lot of people out there who are doing all the right things but still haven't been able to land their next gig in many cases through no fault of their own. And let's face it, for most of us our job is an integral part of our identity and shapes not only how we view ourselves but how other people view us as well. So imagine you are one of the lucky folks who actually makes it through the screening process and lands an interview only to realize that the people interviewing you have no 'effing idea what they're doing. You've done your homework on the company, prepared your answers, and even bought a new suit. But as the interview goes on, it becomes clear as day that not only are you up against other candidates for this job, you also have to overcome the inept interview team as well. That sucks, plain and simple. And it's not right. Now, I know we here at FOT tend to rant about candidates and employees from time to time but COMPANIES have some responsibilities here too.
They actually need to read your resume. You would think this is basic stuff, right? Well, it's not. There's nothing worse as a candidate than trying your hardest to put your best foot forward when based on the questions you're being asked you get the sneaking suspicion they haven't even done you the courtesy of reading your resume. Or better yet, they are clearly reading it for the first time (out loud sometimes) in front of you. Come on, at least read it on the way to the interview room! I have to admit I'm not innocent here. In my first job out of college I was interviewing an experienced candidate and I hadn't really read his resume. Well, the dude called my a** out and said “if you need a few minutes to have a look at my resume, I can go get a cup of coffee and come right back.” I apologized and came clean. We hired the guy and I swore I'd never put myself in that situation again!
They tell you who you're meeting and stay on schedule. In my mind it's only fair for the candidate to know exactly who their meeting with ahead of time so they have an opportunity to do some of their own research and prepare for the interview. And by ahead of time I mean the company sen
ds you a schedule before you arrive, not when you walk through the door, unless of course the lineup changes. I also believe this helps the force a company to respect your time! One of my worst experiences was when I was interviewing with a rather well known company and I was deserted in a windowless conference room for almost an hour wondering if anyone was coming for me. I was thirsty and had to use the bathroom but I was afraid if I left the room I might miss the next interviewer. Finally I was rescued by someone who clearly was standing in for whoever I was supposed to meet. I was pissed! In the end I was offered a position but I turned it down in part because of this experience.
They have an interviewing strategy. I know, I know, now I'm asking a lot but I expect the people who are interviewing me to have a planned and coordinated approach. Meaning, if I'm meeting with 5 people I don't want 5 people to ask me the exact…same…question. By the 5th time answering it I've got my story down pat but you haven't really learned all that much about me. And don't even get me started on the people who think asking questions out of the blue like ” if you were an animal, what animal would you be?” Unless, it's part of your strategy to ask off the wall questions I don't give a crap about your animals! I expect that each interviewer to have a particular area of focus and a series of questions they have been assigned to ask. And so should you.
They call you back. You've put up with the interviewer reading your resume while walking into the conference room, you've been deserted in a windowless room waiting for an unnamed interviewer to rescue you and you spent 10 minutes of your life that you'll never get back explaining why you'd make a great leopard. And you can't get the company to return your call, emails or even acknowledge that you exist. They give you the high school fade away break up treatment – “maybe if I don't return his call he'll get the message.” I'm of the strong opinion that if you actually take time out of your life to interview for a position the VERY least a company can do is call you back. I'm always amazed when I reach out to a candidate and they thank me…even though I just told them they didn't get the job.
What else would you add to this list? Hit me in the comments…
Andy Porter is Chief People Officer at the Broad Institute of MIT and Harvard in Cambridge, MA which means he works with some wicked smaaht people. Some days, he indeed does wear short shorts around the office(call it a morale booster) but it really just makes people uncomfortable. Other days, he spits some mad game on cheese. No really – he’s somewhat of a cheese aficionado. But more importantly? At Broad he gets to his small part to help change the world of healthcare.