Don’t be this person in an interview.

Nadine Shaabana, Unsplash

This person was great. They did all of the right things. They turned up on time, they built rapport, their experience was spot on.

We left that interview knowing we had found the one. And to add to that, we were in a mad rush to find this person. With projects and deadlines looming, we needed this person in fast – and they were available immediately.

Everyone left the interview energised, feeling like it had gone well on all parts.

The job was theirs.

But then I spoke to our front of house team.

We try to make this a habit. Just to see if there are any red flags we may have missed. 99% of the time this feedback is pretty mundane. “They were nice,” “looked a bit nervous,” or something along those lines.

This was different. The experience they had had was in stark contrast to ours.

This candidate had actually been running late. They stormed in with a look of thunder on their face. They rudely demanded to know where the interview was taking place. When they received the instructions, there was no mention of a ‘thank you’. In fact, they ‘grunted’ and walked off; having barely even made any eye contact.

We couldn’t believe it. It’s amazing how the perceptions of the same person can be so different within the matter of a few minutes.

I discussed this with the candidate and gave them the feedback.

We didn’t offer them job.

How could we?

Had they behaved like that in the interview it would never be accepted. So why should we accept it for our colleagues?

How would they feel knowing we had completely ignored their experience?

Were we supposed to bypass this just because we were short-staffed and needed someone in ASAP?

Not at all. There’s no excuse for this – especially in an interview.

If you’re running late; make arrangements. Give them a call. Nine times out of ten it won’t be an issue. If you’re running 3 minutes late, I’d even say take a couple of extra minutes outside to compose yourself. You’re already late, right? What’s another couple of minutes?

Just don’t take out your frustrations on people unnecessarily.

This is a lesson for all aspects of life, not just interviews. Be nice. To everyone.

People who work together talk. So don’t be surprised if your actions make it back to the hiring team.

I don’t want this to sound all doom and gloom. Because in reality, this scenario is very few and far between (thankfully).

Just remember, your interview starts the moment you walk in the door.

I hope that helped.

Thoughts/feedback/questions welcome.


Check out the video version of this story on YouTube

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