My pre-interview checklist.
- Hugo Boss suit. Check (although it fits a lot tighter than I remember it fitting a decade ago).
- Conservative tie. Check.
- Polished shoes. Check.
- Ironed and starched shirt. Check.
- Fresh shave, cleared hair out of nose and ears. Check.
- And perhaps most importantly, investing several hours getting to know as much as I can about the slate of people I’ll be interviewing with – CEO, CFO, CRO, CTO, CMO, GC. Check.
- Knowing as much about the company, the role, and the expectations of the person hired for the role. Check.
- Thinking about how I am different (and better) than other candidates they are interviewing. Check.
And then the doubt creeps in–or maybe it’s apathy.
Because I’ve done this before, a THOUSAND TIMES. Ok, maybe hundreds not thousands, but I’ve already got my embellishment hat on. That’s what you do when you interview, right?
And my success rate has been better than the KC Chiefs playoff record over the same span.
This process sucks. The recruitment process, that is.
I’m getting too old for this sh*t.
But don’t underestimate me. I may be an old dog in this show, but I know my stuff. I can do this job in my sleep. I’m way more capable than I was even a decade ago, and I can do twice as much in half the time because of my experience and by working way smarter. But I don’t have the energy for this pomp and circumstance. You deciding NOT whether I can do the job, but rather whether you like me and I’m a “fit” for your company?!
I can assure you of one thing, I’m a better fit for your company than this decade-old suit is for my present-day body!
How many of you have had the recent enjoyment of a similar interview experience? Sad isn’t it?
And how many of you didn’t get the job? Not because you couldn’t do it. You didn’t get it either because you were deemed not a “fit” or were considered “overqualified”? Yeah, me too.
Well, I got back on the horse. Dressed up in the monkey suit, got all gussied up, prepped and ready to go through another round of interviews. I artificially pumped myself up when what I really wanted to do was just walk into the interview and ask the Hiring Manager “Are we doing to do this or not? Because I’ve got sh*t to do.”
But guess what–after persevering through several of these excruciating interview experiences, I landed a job. A great job, with a great company. And now that I’m on the other side of the table again (in far more comfortable attire) I’m going to make damn sure that the recruitment process I’m accountable for doesn’t put candidates through the pomp and circumstance that has become most recruitment processes. I’ll make certain that we aren’t masking all our unconscious biases under the blanket we call “culture fit”.
And you should ensure the same. Because as HR and Talent Pros we’re better than this.
Ed’s a career HR front man who’s advised business owners and the C-suite on developing great cultures and inspiring work environments since the profession was called “personnel.” Yeah, that makes him seasoned but also quick to call out the fluffy HR theoretical crap from HR strategies that actually work.
His versatility has taken him all over the world, continually acquiring knowledge of how to build a great company through innovative HR practices, learning mostly from real world experience and his own mistakes.
He’s the founder of HRO Partners, a HR consulting firm that specializes in guiding leaders on what they need and don’t need from HR for their business.