Wednesday, July 10, 2013

Interview: I'm not sure you're a fit for the role...

I'm not sure you're a fit for the role...

Although I have used this as an interviewer, I have not heard it as an interviewee. As an interviewer, I have not heard anyone rebut the statement. I really would not put much attention because those candidates really did not have a chance. I assumed that it would save us both time and hassle by letting them continue with their search without having to check back with us later.

As an Interviewee
But as an interviewee, I think there are two ways I could take this. In the interview, I try to put in time to interview the interviewer. I want to see if the company is a place I want to work at. There have been a couple companies where I did not want to join. In that case, I would have just said ok and politely complete the rest of the interview if that was not already the end.

In the case where I had interest and felt that I did decently well in the interview, I would have asked what kind of person they were looking for. They gave me an interview so I must have fit some criteria at some point. Depending on how the discussion goes, I would try to figure out more information. I would most likely not push hard to sell my abilities to the company... but then I am also not a sales person.

As an Interviewer
I am not sure if I like this approach to see how a person takes 'no' as an answer. The candidates have been in several interviews. They are already stressed about their situation. So, not all the candidates are going to play such mind games.

In my experience, most those people who naturally sell themselves usually decrease morale of the people around them. They claim more than they can do or they spend more time selling themselves rather than doing the work. They also target work that will only give them more selling points. This leaves all the menial tasks to the rest of the group.

Identifying those people are not obvious, but people will eventually notice. After a month or two, people will start to adjust their behaviors in a negative way. Once a few people start to get "burned" by those sales-y people, the situation will only get worse. Ironically, those who sell themselves also tend to get promoted because they appear better than the rest to upper management. When that occurs, I have found entire groups transfer, leave, or just quit in a short period of time. And because they care about their image, they are the type to keep investing in poor decisions in hopes that more money, time, or labor will salvage whatever is left which tend to also be at the expense of everyone else.

They are not all like that. The good ones are fewer in numbers and typically would not need to sell themselves on such statements. Although there are some, I find it hard to believe that they outweigh the bad. I do like the intent but I think there are better ways.

11 Interview Questions You Wouldn't Think to Ask--But Should