Article 1: Got Your Eyes & Ears Peeled? Nine Tell-Tale Candidate Interview Mistakes
The meeting room has been booked out; you’ve got your notebook, coffee, a stack of CVs and your best Thursday socks on and you’re settled in for a day of interviews. You’re fresh for the first three or four but eventually they candidates will morph into what seems like a gelatinous mass of cliché after cliché.
You need to keep your wits about you. It’s often not what they say but how they say it and there are some sure-fire signs that the candidates sitting in front of you are failing to engage brain before opening mouth. Here are nine classic interview warning signs:
- Liars: Candidates who lie about roles, experience or salary won’t look you in the eye, they blush, nibble their lips and blink more rapidly than normal – indications that the brain is working quickly. Be aware.
- Vague Answers: You want a more detailed explanation as to why they left their last role. ‘I left to further my career’ can be true but it can also be a euphemism for ‘I was booted out for stealing too many Post-It Notes’. Be sure.
- CV Knowledge: Does their off-pat chat correspond with what’s on their CV? Does it match up? Test them.
- Why You? You need to determine whether the person in front of you just needs a job to pay the bills or genuinely wants to work for you. Do they know the company, the role and the culture? Do they care? Find out.
- Negativity: This is an easy one because it’s purely verbal. If they kick off with reasons why they can’t do overtime, overseas trips or that they absolutely have to get the 5.46 train from Waterloo every day, file their CV in the ‘maybe’ pile.
- Barriers Are Up: Underselling is very common but look for signs that they are focusing on the 15% of the role they don’t have experience in rather than the 85% they do. It could be a sign of things to come.
- Too Much: Overselling is the domain of the nervous. If they go on and on about how great they are, how much money they made for their last company or a me, me, me diatribe, be cautious. No-one’s perfect even if some of us think we are…
- ‘Hilarious’ Jokes: A candidate sitting in front of you telling you ‘jokingly’ that they’d use dirt they had on potential clients to drive business is one to be cautious of. A joke it may have been but it’s an insight into how their brain works and from the get-go, the seed is planted.
- Where Next? Candidates that ask about progression within the business in the right way are to be applauded but the ones who want to use this role as a stepping-stone to the top need to be weeded out. They will have an agenda.Article 2: Comedic Candidates, Confused Clients…
As a business owner, HR manager or indeed anyone who has ever conducted an interview, sometimes a candidate presents themselves seemingly with the sole purpose of ending up on a list like this… Here are some candidates we all wish we could see, if only to break up the monotony of a day of asking the same questions to dozens of people!
In an article from reed.co.uk, they asked over 200 interviewers for their most memorable faux-pas…#facepalm
Dress for Success
Most know how to dress for an interview, unlike these guys…
- The woman who showed up with bare feet, holding her shoes complaining her feet hurt
- A Skype interview conducted with the candidate in bed wearing stripy pyjamas
- The candidate who sewed saucepan lids into the lining of his coat for ‘protection’
That’s sound advice, but not during an interview…
- The guy who came in with a half-eaten pizza in the box and asked the interviewer if she wanted a slice
- The lunch interview where the candidate asked for a beer, then another, then two more. He got battered and threw up
- The girl who was getting flustered and sunk a sachet of energy gel mid-conversation
Friends Will Be Friends
They’re your friends, not a portable fan club…
- One candidate brought her best friend to sit in the interview for moral support
- A guy brought his wife in to the interview who answered most of the questions on his behalf
- The guy who brought his dog in with him. Guess what the dog did on the carpet…
No Category for Odd People
These don’t fit into any particular category but they’re too good to leave out…!
- The guy who asked for a cigarette break halfway through his interview
- The candidate who asked to borrow ‘a couple of grand’ from the interviewer
- One candidate asked his interviewer out on a date
- The woman going for a job at a yacht-charter company who was scared of the water
Article 3: Snap & Swipe: Are Snapchat and Tinder Useful Recruitment Tools?
Move over LinkedIn. Snapchat and Tinder are the latest way forward-thinking firms are attracting young, hip millennials with businesses creating geo-filters to target relevant people in specific areas. Melissa Murphy, head of HR at New York digital advertising agency Space150 whose Snapchat geo-filters targeted college campuses and public areas says, ‘Rather than asking students to come to us, we thought it would be much better to target them where they already are’.
She continued; ‘Being in a creative and tech-savvy industry, we’re always trying new ways to recruit talent – and Snapchat is where all the youngsters are.’
Fetch, a mobile agency in New York recently used dating app Tinder to recruit an intern. They created a profile for one day only and started swiping. They asked potential candidates for their best chat-up lines and of the 270 they matched (150 men, 120 women), five got to the interview stage.
22-year old Sam Weidt was the lucky intern who wowed them with his chat-up line. Fetch initiated the chat with a simple ‘Hi Sam!’ His response was a pearler. ‘Hey Fetch! If I was as good at dating as I am at marketing, my thumbs wouldn’t be sore from Tinder!’
Even JPMorgan, the most traditional of institutions has embraced Snapchat’s geo-filtering to look for young, urban millennials.
There was a word of warning via The Economic Times from a senior recruiter at Accenture who said ‘These apps don’t capture any educational and work experience of candidates, so a recruiter would end up investing a lot of time on each profile before even understanding their fitment.’
Valid to a point, but if you want cool, young, tech-savvy kids with their fingers on the pulse, you have to go and find them.
Article 4: Bored of the Same Interview Questions? Have an Apple…
Known the world over for innovation, secrecy and churning out ground-breaking products, Apple and CEO Tim Cook’s ‘team of hiring experts’ are also now famous for something else.
In an article from Business Insider, Apple’s ‘eccentric’ recruitment techniques means that if you want to join the other 115,000 ‘geniuses’ that work for the tech overlord, you’re going to have to answer some seriously strange cryptic riddles targeted to the role in question.
Want to work for Apple? Then get answering…
‘How much does the Empire State Building weigh?’ – Solutions Consultant
‘Give me five ways of measuring how much gasoline is in a car.’ – Hardware Engineer
‘Why did Apple change its name from Apple Computers Incorporated to Apple Inc.?’ Specialist
‘How many children are born every day?’ – Global Supply Manager
‘How does an airplane wing work?’ – Lead Systems Engineer
‘How would you break down the cost of this pen?’ – Global Supply Manager
‘How would you test a toaster?’ – Software QA Engineer
‘Explain what RAM is to a five year old.’ – Apple Genius
The last one is easy. A ram is a daddy sheep.
Article 5: Go Quietly and Don’t Make a Fuss…
A disgruntled ex-employee with a grudge can be a scary prospect. Some will accept their failings and leave with good grace, a decent reference and another middle management role somewhere else.
Last laugh or career suicide, others are prepared to go postal…
In April, a video from sharing site LiveLeak apparently shows a rather displeased Russian airport worker taking his aggression out on a £3.5m Yak-40 plane with a crane after being sacked. Doubt has emerged regarding the authenticity of the clip with some believing it’s footage from an airplane breakers yard but still, it’s a cracking watch!
Meanwhile in Dundee, Gheorge Ilie went for an interview at Morrisons but didn’t get the job. So annoyed was he about failing the interview that on his way out, he loaded up a trolley with over £1,700-worth of booze covered with bags and, oddly, nappies and tried to leave the store. The security tags triggered the alarm and the inept thief was apprehended.
Andrew Plumb was sacked from the Gas Superstore in Leicester in early 2015 and decided to hack into the company’s computer system. He cancelled orders, changed passwords and replaced pictures of appliances with characters from Coronation Street. He cost the business £41,000 and they had to stop trading for three days.
Christmas most certainly wasn’t the season of gifts, kindness and forgiving for ex-Harrods Santa Lloyd Hudson. After downing almost two bottles of whisky, he found the location of the switches for the corner shop’s 10,000 exterior lights. He disabled a select series of lights until the outside of the world’s most famous department store read ‘F**k Off’!
Lastly in America, and after being given four weeks’ notice to leave, an accounts clerk at a trading company in the Midwest used the company credit card to order a year’s worth of male enhancement pills to be delivered to a choice selection of male executives around the office. [Insert your own joke about stiff penalties, hard labour etc…]
Article 6: Recruiters Can Only Do So Much…
Here at Asset Resourcing, we thoroughly prepare our candidates for their interviews. We run them through the questions they’re likely to face as well as the role and its responsibilities and then we let them loose. What we can’t do with any degree of accuracy is prepare them for random, leftfield questions…
Yasmin Green is head of R&D at Jigsaw, formerly known as Google Ideas and at Marie Claire’s recent Power Trip networking event for women she was aske d about her favourite interview technique. It was a marked detour from the usual guff and the logic behind it seems pretty solid.
She likes to ask potential hires the following question: ‘How would you make money from an ice-cream stand in Central Park?’
She justifies her odd line of questioning. ‘I’m curious to see how people deal with ambiguity and whether they can have fun while thinking on their feet’. She’s passionate about hiring people that are ‘innately driven’ and those who have ‘that force of spirit that powers them through any obstacle that comes their way’ and asking them about how they’d make their fortune selling ice-cream in Central Park is as good a way as any.
Article 7: Just for Fun, Get Them In…
Before potential candidates get involved with recruitment companies, applications and interviews, they need a robust, coherent CV. Now before we go any further, let’s all be honest for a moment. Most of us have embellished slightly and some of us have told whopping great porkies in order to secure a dream job. To confirm our suspicions, CareerBuilder’s summer 2015 survey says that 56% of employers have found a lie on a CV.
The most common ‘inaccuracies’ include embellished skill sets (62%), responsibilities (54%), dates of employment (39%), job titles (31%) and academic degrees (28%).
Yet some employers to the tune of 42% are happy to consider applicants meeting three out of five of these criteria. However sometimes, just sometimes a porky or an error so ridiculous manifests itself that it’s worth getting the candidate in…for a laugh! Here are some examples collated by CareerBuilder that are too funny to pass by! The applicant…
- …claimed to be a former CEO of the company he was applying to
- …claimed to be bi-lingual – English and Pig Latin
- …managed to write ‘whorehouse’ instead of ‘warehouse’ under previous jobs
- …’s email address was ‘2poopy4mypants@….
- …said he was a Nobel Prize winner
- …said they worked in a jail for two years but were actually serving time for robbery
- …went to a college that closed down in the 1960s
- …’s job history had her at three jobs in three states simultaneously
- …claimed to be HVAC-certified but had to ask the interviewer what HVAC stood for
- ..’s reference was from an employer they had embezzled money from with an arrest warrant out for said applicant
Article 8: Recruitment Videos Can Be Good, We Promise…
Recruitment is a continually moving target. What worked a decade ago is unlikely to work today. In fact what worked last week may not work today either, such is the fluidity of the industry we find ourselves in.
What hasn’t changed is companies trying to do their best to lure in potential candidates but it’s the way they try and lure them in that is getting a little more sophisticated.
Try this recruitment video from the Hillsboro Police Department in Oregon. The production values are awful, the acting is wooden but Reddit users called it one of the best recruiting videos of all time!