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Ridiculously Insane Interviews - Part 1

It's been a while since we published something new here. The time was well invested in gaining more experience and insights on the Recruitment System.

Recently i happened to view an amazing piece of article and something stood out. Let me share it with you:

Assume you are recruiting for a few positions and ypu have been presented with 3 choices. Which one would you bet on

Candidate 1: Sleeps till noon, was kicked out from public office twice, used opium in college, drinks a quart of vodka daily. 

Candidate 2: has 2 mistresses, drinks 10 martinis a day, consults an astrologist for his decisions, chain smoker. 

Candidate 3: Decorated war hero, does not smoke nor drinks, never cheated on his wife. 

If you chose Candidate 3, here is more information...

Candidate 1: Winston Churchill 
Candidate 2: Franklin D. Roosevelt 
Candidate 3: Adolf Hitler 

We are too quick to make snap judgments about people, particularly on interviews. Do not you agree?

What a classic example!! Not always do we get a chance to look at things from different angles. Thanks to awesome folks like Liz Ryan and Oleg Vishnepolsky. Times are changing and we are witnessing powerful people raising their voices against the pathetic state of our Recruitment Processes.

Down here in India things are a bit odd. Many of the employers or rather most of them are still laid back. They have no clue on how to go about identifying talents. They are blind towards the interview process and the worst part being their "Don't care attitude".

Employers are still shortlisting based on key words match. Employers are still running behind the concept of "Purple Squirrels". Employers across industries are making silly mistakes while hiring. 

Let me help you understand the case in point. A Top Real Estate Firm came to me seeking support for a few open positions they had. In the words of their HR Team, they wanted to hire Top Talents for positions like GM HR, VP Sales and Strategy Roles. I immediately got into action by mapping resources in the targeted firms.

My experience thus far has been one of dismay and surprise. Not only the entire HR Team is unware about the Market Conditions but they also lack knowledge on interviewing concepts. (The internal HR Team started matching key words from the Job Description they created with the resumes. The resumes selected were the ones with the highest keywords matching the JD)

They started interviewing candidates the old school types. It was more of a quiz session rather than familiarization. The process was all messy. (Sr Manager was interviewing  a candidate who applied for VP HR. Another Sr Manager interviewed a candidate who applied for VP Sales.)

We had many candidates who just declined to even attend the interview. I did pass the feedback to the company executives. Unfortunate they fell on deaf ears.

This is just one of countless unpleasant experiences candidates go through. Employers/Hiring Managers fail to understand that many highly qualified people do not perform well in a setting of an interview

Here are a few suggestions which would make a remarkable difference in the Interview Process:
  1. Abolish a long sequence of short interviews with lots of people interviewing a candidate.
Interviewing is not speed dating

The expectation that your interviewers can form a qualified opinion based on 30 mins interviews is very flawed. Even a skill can not be verified that quickly - unless you are hiring burger flippers.
  1. But more importantly, you are looking for a potential in a candidate - not just skills
  2. Give strong preference to practical questions. Ask the candidate to write a little project plan, or a piece of computer code, or make a sales call to one of your employees
  3. Abolish cultural fit and personality type questions. Unless of course we want to stack up our ranks with people who give us answers we want to hear. Cultural fit is important but - firstly -it is impossible to determine based on a short interaction. Secondly, even if it was possible to measure, it totally discounts the candidate's ability to adopt to a new culture
  4. Hire people who are more smarter than You. Do not be afraid to hire overqualified people either. You want the best
  5. Stop using ATS. It's one of the most useless and productivity sucking app ever. ATS is a looser and a pathetic way to shortlist candidates.
  6. The concept of "Purple Squirrel" is a myth. There is no one candidate on this earth who is a perfect match. Not even You.
  7. Stop writing senseless Job Descriptions. If you can't craft one then seek help. There are many Talent Evangelists who are just doing that
  8. Most of all, stop asking sill questions in the pretext of interviewing. Either you know nuts about Recruitment/Interviewing or you just don't belong here.

At the end of it all even You are an employee and someday you will also be in the market hunting for opportunities. Make sure You don't feel sucked into the same pathetic interview processes that you were earlier a part of


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