Over the past couple of weeks, I have been interviewing manager candidates for several of our locations across a couple of my regions. Some of the interviews have been good and some of them have been not so good. And through this process, one particular interview stood out to be because it was though the candidate just felt like he was interviewing with me simple because he had too. Meaning, my interview really didn’t matter on the larger scale.
Funny enough, I used to run into this situation when I was a recruiter. I would get many candidates who felt that since it was just the recruiter they were speaking with, they really did not have to put their “A” game on. Instead, their “A” game would be reserved for the manager or someone more important than just the recruiter. As a result, many of the candidates did not make it through the interview process because although I tried to find the skilled, quality candidate, they wouldn’t give it to me since I was just the “recruiter”.
So, are all interviews game for your consideration of a job?
The answer: Yes!
Regardless of who you are speaking to within an organization, all interactions are important. First impressions are everything and you should always have your “A” game on because you never know who is involved with deciding whether or not you would get hired. For instance, have you ever heard a story where the final OK to hire a candidate was left up to the receptionist or secretary that the candidate interacted with when they first walked in?
You might say a receptionist or secretary couldn’t make the final decision, but it absolutely can happen. Although you may not see the receptionist or secretary as crucial, the interaction they have with a candidate is important because again, it demonstrates some of your true characteristics. For example, how did you interact with them when you first walked in? Were you pleasant or rude? Were you late? Were you on the phone the entire time?
When people think they are not being watched by someone important, they can do things that they normally wouldn’t do if they knew the person they were interviewing with was watching them.
So, here is my advice to you.
Take every interaction you have with someone at an organization to heart. Whether it is an HR Coordinator calling to conduct an initial screen, an HR Manager conducting an interview, or engaging with the receptionist at the front desk, they are all important. I am not saying be fake and put on a game, but be yourself and be professional with your “A” game on. You should always be ready to present yourself to the fullest, as you never know who will be involved in the decision making process to hire you. Especially since there are more people unemployed and less open positions in today’s workforce. Now, go knock that interview out of the park!
Chris Ponder II is a human resources professional who has harnessed his human resources knowledge and experience across the casino, retail, and service industries, while pushing the extreme in: talent acquisition, employee engagement, training and development, human resources information systems, employee relations, process development and redesign, performance improvement, project management, and human resources analytics. Chris shares his knowledge and experiences at his blog, XtremeHR, but you can also follow him on Twitter at @ChrisPonder.