Thursday, June 05, 2008

Consult Your Interviewer

If you'll recall, I recently wrote a post about best practices for phone interviews. This included the sensible advice to be prepared with any needed materials, use a good phone (preferably a land line), and focus.

Today I was scheduled for a phone interview with an organization's hired consultant at 10:00 AM. It is now 10:10, and here's what happened:

**Phone rings**

KH: Hello, this is Kate.

Consultant Interviewer: (on speakerphone) Hi, Kate! This is Jane Smith, how are you doing? (noise of rustling papers)

KH: I'm fine, Jane, and how are you?

CI: (more background noise) I'm just fine, and wow, you know, I absolutely cannot find your CV. I have no idea what happened to it.

KH: Are you by a computer? I could re-email it to you.

CI: (sighs) No, no, look, I have the landscapers outside just now, and I can barely hear you, and I'm not sure where I put your CV, so um, well, we're just going to have to reschedule this.

KH: Ah, okay, what is your schedule like?

CI: Well, are you around all day today? (more background noise from the speakerphone)

KH: I had planned a trip downtown for this afternoon, but I should be here until 1:00. What time would work for you?

CI: (sighs again) Um, 2:00.

KH: (here I'm hiding a massive amount of frustration) Well, then, I could move my schedule. 2:00 will be fine.

CI: Great. Talk to you soon. Bye. (hangs up)

Now, honestly, tell me what you think of this exchange. Here I am, laptop pulled up to the organizations webpage, and the email of relevant info from my recruiter for reference, pen and paper ready, phone by my side in a nice quiet room with no noise and distractions and a list of questions to ask. Jane, meanwhile, is somewhere at home with landscapers making all kinds of noise, very distracted and unable to come up with my resume from her pile of papers. And she called five minutes late.

If, as a job candidate, I behaved like this woman did, I'd probably be ushered out of the interview in less than five minutes and my resume sent to the shredder. I have some serious doubts as to whether I want to work for a place that would hire this person to conduct their interviews.

3 responses:

Victoria said...

This sort of thing drives me batty, and it has happened to me more than once. I'd like to think that because the companies aren't making hiring their top priority, they're missing out on the great candidates (like us).

On the other hand, we all have crazy days where we can't seem to get it together as much as we try. Perhaps you'll have a better idea of where this company and you stand after your interview. Best of luck!

Vanessa said...

Wow. I hope if her supervisor knew about this that she would get a serious warning. If this type of interviewing continued I think I would let her go. I think this reflects extremely poorly on the company. Did they contract out their interviews to a staffing company?

Kate Hutchinson said...

@Victoria - we do all have crazy days, but if she wasn't prepared, she could have at least called on time and said, "I'm so sorry, I'm not prepared, could we reschedule?" instead of sounding like a disorganized flake.

@Vanessa - The process is being farmed out to this consultant, and I was picked up by a recruiter. I definitely told the recruiter about the issue, and happily the recruiter offered to call her back and reschedule the 2:00 time.

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