Did that really happen?

It’s not what you say it’s the way that you say it

The best thing about my job is the people and the things that they say and do – always interesting, never predictable, sometimes surprising and often infuriating! The following is a small selection of the random things that can happen in an interview situation.

During the middle of an interview between a Sales Director and a National Account Manager a current employee storms into his bosses office without knocking to complain that ‘no one in this place has a f*****g clue what they are doing. (interviewers make sure you tell your staff you are in a meeting)

The candidate who explained that working at home was a massive benefit as it means that ‘I can pick the kids up from school’.  (try to think of something that benefits the interviewer/company not you)

The candidate who advises a male client that she is ‘very easy to please’ (please engage brain before opening mouth).  This caused lots of giggling and once both had recovered from the CarryOn moment the interview went very well.  Not a recommended ice breaker but if it works why not!

Client asks; it’s a small industry (toy sector) is there anyone you aspire to be like? Not really answers the candidate there are too many dinosaurs but as long as I don’t end up like Mrs ?? That’s interesting responds the client did you not realise she works here now and is the best National Account Manager I have ever had (know your audience)

Client asks about a candidates current earnings, candidate responded with something along the lines of that’s confidential, you tell me how much you are prepared to pay to get me. (nothing was the answer)

Why do you want this job; because I am out of work and the wife has a massive list of things I need to do around the house; please save me from DIY and domesticity. This candidate got the job and has been with the company for 3 years now.

Do you currently sell to (major High Street Retailer)? Well I snogged the Assistant Buyer once at an industry dinner; does that count? (no it doesn’t, we all know you have to sleep with the buyer to get the order).

Picture the scene, cold miserable January day, snow falling and a senior level candidate is ¾ of the way through a major presentation to a panel of 5 Directors and Shareholders, the candidate asks his audience the question ‘So why should you employ me?’ As he finished the question there was a power cut and the whole room was plunged into darkness  – dramatic!!! (I told you, expect anything).

The candidate that said to a client, oh I can’t do that I don’t have enough experience (I cannot remember what the that was).

Client: Do you have any questions?  Candidate: Yes, can I have some samples?

Client: we will cover all trade show expenses but we have to share bedrooms!!! (above and beyond really)

Where do you see yourself in 3 years time? Well I am getting married in 4 weeks and we really want to start a family, I want at least 2 children. Try to keep your ambitions work related, clients cannot discriminate but candidates sometimes do their best to make a client question their ‘fit’

Please candidates, think about what you are saying and who you are saying it to; client asked ‘What’s your favourite type of toy?’  Candidate: I love anything technical and educational, it’s the future and it’s what the children need to keep them learning when at home, with their favourite characters. Heavily licensed product is the way to go. This is a fantastic answer until I explain that the interview was for a small traditional preschool toy company who have no technical product and do not work with licensed product!!!!

And finally my personal favourite. The candidate had called me twice prior to the interview to ask questions and was quite nervous about the meeting. He was wearing his best suit, had cleaned his shoes and had CV, company catalogues and all his research notes in his briefcase. He walked into the interview room, promptly tripped over, briefcase flew out of his hand, hit the fall distributing the contents over the room – including his packed lunch!!!! The client could barely speak when he called to give me the feedback, ‘Amanda he crawled under the desk to retrieve his apple’. The candidate did not get the job but we all had a good laugh!!!

For all those who have asked me why I often say I wish I could do this interview for you! That has to be an indication of the random things that can happen in an interview situation, the advice to both candidates and clients is be prepared, do your research and expect everything.

Fellow Recruiters; share your stories with me.

Employers and Employees; For real and honest advice on how to make the interview process work for you call Amanda on 01594 529413 or email amanda@birchwoodrecruitment.com

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