Toast crumbs across his cheek and around his lips said to me… this is not the guy for our role. I didn’t feel comfortable looking at him and was really just trying to conduct an interview. He should have had breakfast before meeting me, not at the actual interview!
The resume and his experience were fantastic but his presentation oozed the questions; “Did he wear that stuff to bed and come straight to meet me and why is he having breakfast now at 11:30am?”. I enjoy meeting a candidate over a coffee – it offers a more relaxed setting away from an office and at least 99.5% of the time the candidate just has a coffee, tea or cold drink however on this occasion, there was an order of raisin toast to go with the coffee. Who orders breakfast at an interview???
How often have you had an interview and wished you had a portal to see how a candidate was going to present so that you could just save everyone’s time? You have gone through the trouble of sorting the many applications, carefully pre-screening your short-list over the phone and then… one of them turns up for interview and it’s not what you expected.
Have you ever experienced:
- the nervous candidate that smells like they just had to have that last minute cigarette before interview
- the candidate that decided thongs were great business shoes (and met OH&S requirements)
- the swearer (enough said)
- the girl in the nightclub outfit
- the guy that forgot to put deodorant on – do you remember smelling yourself after they left the room just in case you thought it was you?
What I love about what I do as a recruiter is that I save my clients from these disasters by meeting candidates first to experience how they will represent your organisation. OK, I had one fail – the cigarette guy just couldn’t help himself and had to have one puff literally outside my client’s front door. Ultimately I want you, my client, to have a positive experience, seeing only the best for your interview, let us deal with the wayward ones. Rest assured, we can have a good laugh about those once we have selected your new employee.
For those of you who feel comfortable recruiting a new employee by yourself and don’t mind the roller-coaster of emotions that can happen during a recruit, try something new to see what works best for your business. If you generally meet candidates at your office for interview, meet them for a coffee instead on neutral ground. You have already selected the candidate based on their skills, experience and a good phone pre-screen, now you will see them in a more relaxed setting where they may reveal a lot more of their personality. It gives you a better indication of their communication skills, how they interact with those around them (do they get annoyed or distracted easily by other people in the coffee shop or are they focused on you?) and even more importantly, you will get a less rehearsed interviewee.
However, if they just happen to order breakfast whilst you are standing in line to be served… you know what to do!!!