“Your 10am interview is here; shall I send her back?”
“Give me 5 minutes—let me look over her résumé again.”
Looking at this candidate’s background, it’s clear that I better be on my A-game or she’ll have me wearing a dunce cap and sitting in the corner. Wellesely? Yale? A law degree? Yikes, maybe I should have a thesaurus close by just in case. Hopefully our conversation today goes better than our phone interview—usually I can make a connection with someone and have a conversation about more than just the job description, but this lady has the personality of a barracuda with a migraine. I sent her an email with several questions prior to our live interview… hope she hasn’t lost them. I gotta admit—this woman actually scares me more than a little bit.
(one hour later)
That was absolutely exhausting… good grief. I’ve never been so convinced of someone’s intelligence and deceptive nature at the same time. It was like interviewing Lex Luthor—I couldn’t get a straight answer. There’s no doubt in my mind she could out-think and out-maneuver everyone at the table; the problem might be that the “table” may decide to show up with pitchforks within a month. She did warm up to me a little bit. I even noticed a slight Southern drawl developing as the conversation progressed.
“Your 11:30am interview is here. Can you please get him out of the lobby? He just sold me a time-share and commented on the length of my skirt.”
Ah jeez, this guy. “Sure, send him on back.”
How could I forget this character? Our phone “interview” was actually fairly succinct. He was ready to wrap it up within the first 10 minutes, and I think he actually interviewed me. At one point he actually commented that interviews were ” …stupid; I’m all about action!” I’ll give him this—he has absolutely no problem with self-confidence; his answer to most of my questions was “Don’t worry about it, I’ll be great!” When I asked him about any “weaknesses or areas of development” he might have, his reply was “I’m too good at what I do, so people are envious of me.” Interesting. Not only does he feel he’s the man for this job, he’s fairly certain he could run this company better than our current CEO. Honestly, I still don’t believe he really wants this job and I’m more than a little surprised he’s here for a formal interview. Maybe he’s here just to yank my chain? He finished with a final remark that the receptionist could stand to lose 10 pounds. Sheesh.
(one hour later)
Wow, that is one arrogant son-of-a-gun, but for some reason I’d actually describe him as “likable.” The problem is he may be miscast for this role. This guy needs to head up our Sales and Marketing division… I think he’ll be bored to death sitting in an office all day, although he could be fantastic for our M&A strategy. I need to make a special note to dig into some of the stories he shared; his communication style just screams “hyperbole.” It’s a weird conundrum, and I’m not sure I believe half of what he says, but he’s certainly inspirational in the way he says it.
One interesting tidbit I picked up is that these two candidates actually know each other. Let’s just say that neither one will offer to be a reference for the other, but it might be a lot of fun to have them both in the same room for a competitive interview, if only for the entertainment value.
In the meantime, I think I might need to re-post the job.
John Whitaker (“Whit”) is a SVP and Chief People Officer at Sage Dental and the founder of HRHardball.com (2008). He specializes in building and developing strong recruiting teams who are unafraid of “kicking the ant pile.” Like most Texans, he loves to tell a story (especially those that include an armadillo or a poker game) and cutting through the chaff…don’t take it personal.