I was really interested in listening to the BBC pm programme yesterday to hear an entrepreneur say that at a job interview she could identify a good worker within two minutes. She also indicated that she thought that gut feeling was more important than factual information.
I’ve heard this said so often by people and always on investigation it’s proved to be wrong and their staff turnover (never attributable to the interviewer) was always the fault of the failed staff member.
Anyway, I thought her comments (probably for media discsussion) misplaced.
In my experience “Gut feeling” has caused more mishires than any other interview technique. It emphasises the “halo and horn effect” of hiring or not hiring people who are “like me”.
In fairness she did admit that she had made many mistakes…no surpise there then!
What are your thoughts?
Email me: Stephen@assimilating-talent.com
A few days ago Mark Rogers, the UK General Manager for Apple Computers, told me that for a job at Apple and above Manager level there will be around eight interviews.
Actually this came as no surprise. The energy that Apple put into selecting the right individual for their senior appointments is indicative of the energy that they put into everything they do!
However, when mentioning this to some of my business friends, they thought this process too long and protracted and would take up too much valuable time. Yet my argument would be that it’s better to expend valuable time at the start of the process and to get it right than to have to waste it later in clearing up a mess!
This latest video may help you decide
70% of graduate interviews now include a telephone interview and 42% of companies now use video conferencing interviews when seeking to hire senior executives.
These statistics came as no surprise to me but when a friend asked me for advice on both techniques I thought I would share the info with my blog followers. Here’s the first with ten tips on handling a telephone interview and within the next few days I’ll upload more tips on managing the video interview.
I observed an interesting discussion between an HR Director and his team yesterday on the ethics and legal consequences of looking at social media pages of candidates as a part of employee selection. The discussion arose from the article in the Young Island Blog I had pointed out earlier.
Facebook was a particular area of discussion simply because many people are more relaxed over the content they post on their Facebook pages. Specifically, some employers are requesting applicants to provide access to their social media accounts as a condition of employment.
Prove they weren’t discriminated against
His comment to the team was, “I’m waiting for the first gay, Muslim or another religion where the candidate hears about an employer accessing their Facebook activity, then not getting the job and making the
employer prove in court that they were not discriminating against their sexual
orientation or religious beliefs when they failed to get the job”.
Although this topic has been discussed ast great length on-line and in the media I’m not sure that there’s been a satisfactory conclusion. Doubtless it’s a question in some HR or Law examinations. Certainly the more I’ve thought about it the more complex the answer seems to be.
I’m not surprised that I’m often I get asked for my recommended replies to specific questions but this hides the real question I’m being posed. The real question is “How do I sound different, better and more attractive than the other candidates?”. Over this last week I’ve talked to three groups of people about how to prepare and shine at interviews.
Yesterday I was talking to a university student that hopes to gain a placement at a large technology firm and defer the last year of his degree to gain experience in a job. I’m sure that he will do well but first he must pass a day long interview where he’s bound to have to introduce himself to a group of people.
Most introductions are either it’s too short such as “I’m an accountant” and gives no further information on expertise or capability or it results in a ramble of words that has little impact and even less meaning for the listener.
For real impact candidates need to develop a twenty to twenty five word description of yourself and your skills that you can memorise and deliver with confidence. The objective is to gain the listeners interest and engage in further conversation. It’s no different from the elevator pitch used by business people (too often very badly!)
Think through the questions you will be asked
Another group I was talking to were in sales and wanting to know how to look different. My advice was to write down the questions you expect to be asked and then ask a friend to ask them and then listen to your answer and make suggestions for improvement. Practice the answers time and again until they sound right to you and answers the underlying questions the interviewer is wanting to discover. (Many interview questions are wanting two or three points addressed)
What questions will you ask the interviewer?
This is an important area because it shows interest and reflects the research made into the future employer (you should have looked at and studied the corporate history, products and their prices and so on)
Consider asking questions on what the company would expect you to have contributed, learned and achieved by the end of the first year
Sales and Marketing interview questions
Have a look at my YouTube channel for further interview films
In this clip I look at some mistakes that are made at interviews and also some howlers and one story where the candidate showed great humour but lost the job.
Interview Howlers & Mistakes
The popularity of my short interview clips on how to answer difficult interview questions has surprised and delighted me. Here’s another question mentioned to me by my network.
“What future trends do you see for our industry?”
Interview question TRENDS
You might also be interested in a 40 page report on “Finding a job using social media” that is available HERE