Did that Happen?

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

This blog serves as a reminder to all! When asked a question at interview(no matter what side of the desk you are on) don’t aim to answer as quickly as you can. Stop! Breathe… plant your feet on the ground, and then answer. Buy your brain the valuable seconds it needs to process the information; it will change your whole interview experience.

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 and think of something that benefits the interviewer and the business you want to work for, not you).

The female candidate who advised 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 Carry On moment the interview went very well.  Not a recommended ice breaker but if it works why not!

Interviewer 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 my client, she works here now and is the best National Account Manager I have ever had (do your research, and do not slag anyone off you never know the potential link).

The interviewer asks a about 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, talk about put the interviewers back up and made for a very short interview.

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.

During the middle of an interview between a Sales Director and a prospective new 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).

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… A 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 that will enable him to close his presentation effectively ‘So why should you employ me?’ As he finished the question there was a powercut and the whole room was plunged into darkness  – dramatic!!! (I told you, expect anything).

The candidate that said to a client, oh I cant do that I don’t have enough experience, I’m really not that good (I cannot remember what the ‘that’ was, but well sold hey?!).

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

Interviewer:  ‘We will cover all trade show expenses but we have to share bedrooms!!!’ (my clients expect everyone to go the extra mile but I think that is a little above and beyond!).

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; Interviewer asked ‘What’s your favourite type of toy?’  Candidate: I love anything technical and educational, it’s the future and its 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 licenses!!!!

For all those interviewers and interviewees who have asked me why I often say ‘I wish I could do this interview for you!’ This has to be an indication of the random things that can happen in an interview situation, the advice to both interviewers and interviewees is be prepared. Do your research,  expect everything and engage brain before opening mouth!

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 me on 01594 529413 or email amanda@birchwoodrecruitment.com

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2 thoughts on “Did that Happen?

  1. Candidates – think about what you wear! My worst interview (…as interviewer 😉 was with a woman dressed in a truly astonishing all-in-one, red, white and blue sailor-inspired shortie number, with ridiculously high heels, for a job in the care sector. With the added peril of a former boss who loved to make me giggle, I spent the next half hour furiously digging my nails into my hands and frantically biting the insides of my cheeks to stop myself from laughing out loud and collapsing in an uncontrollable heap on the floor, as he swiftly added a nautical themed slant to the interview questions.
    Another thing to remember is, as interviewers we’re only human, sometimes we may not show it but we may be more unprepared than you. So cast any thoughts of dragons aside, concentrate on being yourself, no airs and graces. Be real – nine times out of ten these are the people who get the job.

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