The Shocking Truth About Interviewers

December 15, 2011

Interviewers Are Poorly Trained and They’re Scared

Most hiring managers are poor interviewers. The vast majority of them receive no interview training, and they hire infrequently. Even hiring managers who have received training may not hire for months after interview training, and by then the training is forgotten.

One secret of job interviews is that hiring managers are often as nervous as the candidate- they’re stressed about having to make a critical hiring decision. A bad hiring decision is one of the biggest mistakes a manager can make. Studies have shown that a bad hire can cost a company anywhere from two times a person’s salary at lower employment levels to as much as 40 times a person’s salary at higher levels. The financial ramifications of a bad hire include costs for recruiting, training, lost productivity, bad morale, and the manager’s time spent trying to salvage the employee. At higher levels of employment, contract buyouts in the millions of dollars are not unusual. No wonder why the hiring manager is stressed when interviewing!

Many hiring managers compensate by spreading the decision-making around. They will have candidates go through multiple rounds of interviews with numerous interviewers. That way, if the employee does not work out, at least the hiring manager can say everyone was involved.

The problem with this approach is twofold. First, the other interviewers are typically no better at interviewing than the hiring manager is. Second, this burdens the candidate with numerous interviews conducted by poorly trained interviewers.

According to Development Dimensions International (DDI), candidates commonly complain about the following interviewer behavior:

*     Withholding information about the position

*     Turning the interview into a cross-examination

*     Showing up late

*     Appearing unprepared for the interview

*     Asking questions unrelated to job skills

And a recent survey of interviewers by Monster.co.uk found that:

*     Almost a third (30 percent) say they have forgotten a candidate’s name.

*     More than a quarter (28 percent) confess they have gone to interviews unprepared.

*     Almost one in five (19 percent) admit they have forgotten an interview entirely.

*     Fifty-four percent of employer respondents admit they have taken an instant dislike to a candidate.

Don’t let a bad interviewer torpedo your chances of getting the job! Win your interview by taking leadership and providing the information a bad interviewer should know about you to make a good hiring decision.

Active Interviewing

Go to http://www.activeinterviewing.com to learn how to beat bad interviewers and land the job


Are You Mis-Representing Your Brand? Shame on You!

December 5, 2011

Your Brand Has to Stand Up to Scrutiny

“Let none presume to wear an undeserved dignity.” William Shakespeare

Imagine a company trying to claim a false brand- Philip Morris claiming health, BP claiming safety and corporate responsibility, or Facebook claiming privacy. It wouldn’t work, and it would actually hurt their image. I have led team-building meetings where people shared with their co-workers what they thought their personal brand was. Many got nods of agreement, but many got puzzled looks and even expressions of derision: “Yeah, sure- in your dreams.”

For your brand to be of value, it has to be authentic and true. If you want your brand to be that of a caring leader, you must actually care about people and have good leadership skills. If you want your brand to be as a reliable and trustworthy co-worker, you must be dependable and not break confidences. Everyone wants a positive brand, but you can’t have a positive brand simply by declaring it- you have to deserve it. False personal branding is exposed quickly, resulting in an even worse brand.

During interviews, be prepared with stories and examples that support your brand. If you declare yourself a good communicator, have examples of using communication to achieve a success, and be sure you communicate well during the interview. If you brand yourself an expert[md]which you probably are have stories and examples that support your expertise.

Here is an example of a well-supported brand: One of my clients sold large, expensive medical devices, including MRI machines to hospitals. When developing an interview presentation, he chose the personal brand word “competitive” as one of the terms to represent his brand. I asked, “Joe, every salesperson brands himself as competitive. How are you going to prove your competitive brand?” He replied, “Eric, let me tell you how competitive I am. When I sell large medical equipment, I only have a few competitors. So when I go into a sales situation, I study the hospital to which I am selling, and I study the salespeople against whom I am competing. I know their strengths, weaknesses, track records, and employment history. So not only do I sell to the hospital, but I sell against my competition. In at least two situations, my competition did so poorly that they fired their entire sales staff[md]that’s how competitive I am.” I was convinced!

Active Interviewing

Go to http://www.activeinterviewing.com to learn about using branding in interviews