“May you pass me your trash can?” Those were the words of a candidate interviewing for a full-time, entry-level, no benefits position. As the trash can quickly made it’s way to her, she grabbed it and let it all out. Yup! She threw up, ya’ll. Yuck!!! I know, it was pretty nasty. It wasn’t because she had a night full of partying, and she came to her interview hungover (which I have experienced as well.. the crazy world we live in). It was all because she was EXTREMELY nervous in the interview. She threw-up all of her fears, doubts, and insecurities into that trash can. It was unbelievable. My Assistant Manager and I looked at each other and literally thought WTF? What just happened here? She immediately started to apologize. We told her it was okay, and to just take a minute to go to the restroom and catch her breath. While she was probably crying her eyes out in the restroom, I sat there in disbelief. I couldn’t help but self-reflect. If this were me, what would I want the hiring manager to do or say? I would have wanted someone to give me another shot, and that is exactly what I did. I rescheduled her for another interview. I made sure that during her next interview, the candidate we desperately needed felt comfortable. I adjusted my interviewing stance. I turned it into a conversation instead of a drilling session. I remembered that we needed her just as much as she needed us. She did great and turned out to be one of our top performers and stayed with the company for over 5 years if not longer. This was over 10 years ago. I was in my early-20’s and this was a lesson I took with me that I successfully applied throughout my career. The lesson was, I was kind, like sincerely and intentionally kind. (Not a pushover, just kind) You know that proverb, “Treat others how you would like to be treated”? Well not only did I apply that even more, I especially applied that when I interviewed, hired, onboarded, coached and mentored every employee I was blessed to work with. They mattered just as much as I did and I was determined to make sure they felt empowered and appreciated while working with and for me. It has truly paid off. To date, I still have positive relationships with the people I hired and managed.
It’s not always easy as a hiring manager or a recruiter. You scan resumes all day, schedule interviews, and meet with potential candidates. It can become super draining and monotonous. You can get stuck in a funk. Not to mention, the candidates that you meet can be super arrogant, boastful, and downright mean. It can tear away from who you have set out to be. It can turn you into an ice-cold, don’t take no mess, meany! Trust me, I get it. When those days seem to creep up on you, I always encourage people in those roles to take a personal day or extended weekend. If it’s lasting beyond the “get it together” break, then it’s time to reconsider why you are in that role in the first place.
Rewind to the first paragraph, where I mentioned some details of the position. That is major. Why? Well, because too many times, I hear horror stories of hiring managers not treating candidates with respect during the interview process. They either take too long to make a decision, they do not value the interviewee’s time and start the interviews late, or they have you come back for 3-4 interviews. The requirements are completely excessive, with no benefits offered, and it will all be for an entry-level position paying 30k-45k. Yes, 45K in my book is entry-level people. Oh and please stop asking for a degree if your starting pay is 45K. That’s not even enough money to pay off student loans, lol. ( My humble opinion)
Overall, this article is to encourage all recruiters/hiring managers to take a different approach when interviewing and hiring qualified candidates. It does not hurt to be warm, friendly, and inviting during these interviews. Make sure you are respectful of their time, regardless if it is an entry-level or senior-level position. It goes a long way, and you in return will feel good inside. You also never know when the shoe will be on the other foot, and you are in need of a job. Remember candidates are also interviewing you. You are a representation of the company you work for. How would you like to be interviewed?
As professional recruiters and hiring managers, we too can get burned out, complacent or lost in the day-to-day work life. If you are in need of a career coach who can provide you with tips and strategies to improve job satisfaction/productivity let’s schedule a time to speak!
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Until Next Time,