Sunday, January 07, 2007

The Employment Interview

186 The Employment Interview

Okay, job types, here’s yet another set of tips and tricks to help the employment interview go smooth as a cat’s coat and productive as a fertility drug.

But this one’s for the person DOING the interviewing.

Here are some things to remember heading into the interview: (1) Personnel, People and Human Resources Departments are totally disconnected from real life in your company. You don’t have a clue about how things really work, and chances are you are in the job you’re in because you can’t do much of anything else.

(2) Most of the applicants you interview will know more about what your outfit does than you do and most of them will know more than your CEO.

(3) Everyone has read countless tipsheets on how to be interviewed for a job. So they already have pat and rehearsed answers to the standard moronic questions you’re likely to ask, such as “tell me about yourself,” “what are your strong points?” “what are your weak points?” and “Why do you qualify for this job.”

You can ask the questions, but don’t expect spontaneous answers.

Everyone you interview will have been a member of the Community Chest or the March of Dimes or some similar do-good organization. He or she will be the fan of whatever sports team is presently in or near last place. He or she will be a life-long Republican with an “independent streak” that sometimes leads to voting Democratic or a life-long Democrat with an “independent streak” that sometimes leads to voting Republican.

No one you interview will have had drug or alcohol problems.

Since you’re no longer allowed to ask women about whether they’re married, whether they have children or whether they plan to have children, don’t do that.

Be ready to answer intelligent questions like “how long is the probationary period?” or “what kind of health insurance and/or retirement programs do you offer?” and “why should I work here instead of at ‘competitor X?”

Don’t stare at the chests of applying women (if you’re a straight male or a lesbian,) or at the flies of applying men (if you’re a straight woman or a gay male.)

Read the applicant’s resume and cover letter just before the interview so you don’t sound like a total dummy (which, likely, you are,) by asking questions that the applicant’s already answered.

If an applicant makes the cut and goes on to the next round (who would give YOU ultimate authority to hire anyone?) then call or write or e-mail those who DIDN’T make the cut, tell them you’ll keep their resumes on file for six months and then, DO that.

If you are part of a search or selection committee, remember the poor schlub you’re interviewing is badly outnumbered and probably feels like the representative of Pluto at the “what-is-a-planet” committee meeting.

And if you’re a patronizing SOB, keep in mind that the guy who gets hired will remember that and maybe thereafter, you’ll be getting YOUR resume updated.

I'm Wes Richards, my opinions are my own, but you're welcome to them.

(c) 2007 WJR

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