Ever thought that how it is to be on the other side of the table during an interview? Not talking about the interviewee here but about the interviewer. We all think that taking an interview is an easy job as you just have to sit and interrogate scared fellows. Nobody pays much heed as to what all it takes in the interviewing part.
Just like an interviewer gets to experience different things during an interview, so imagine what an interviewer has to deal with as he/she gets to meet so many people for a position in a span of time.
Different types of people coming from different kinds of backgrounds, mindsets, personalities etc. and trust me tackling them isn’t an easy peasy job.
Interviewing a variety of candidates is an experience in itself. So get into the shoes of an interviewer as we take you to some of the most awkward and strangest interviews:
The Referred Interviewee
This is probably the most awkward interview ever. You’re basically being asked to interview them- Those referred by some biggies of the company just to rubber-stamp them into a job. Its only you who knows for a fact that they can’t do the job that they are in line to get. And you also are aware of how they are only in line for it because there’s an acquaintance involved, which there really shouldn’t be.
The situation becomes worse if they are really enthusiastic about the job too, since it means they are going to do their damnedest to participate in the creation of the work product, and you’re going to have to personally work double to undo their damage without seeming to undercut them.
However, it is advisable to generally give an honest answer or opinion of the candidate. As it saves the project, the work and it saves the team, if it’s a team project. So what if it doesn’t win you friends in upper management.
The ignorant interviewee
It is the most common scenarios of all. If you are interviewing someone, and it starts to become so much obvious they don’t know what they are talking about and that they’ve just loaded their resume. All that while they participated in some of the big projects that they claim they did, they really didn’t do much but show up to in meetings. Yeah, it then gets really awkward.
Things go south when they continue to profess their expertise and then get really restless with the interviewer for trying to change the subject, or just flat out claim that the fault is with the interviewer’s inability to understand the answer.
The Cry baby
Once I was interviewing candidates for an engineering position at a small company. That’s when an applicant came into the room and sat down and we began talking. It started with a general conversation to a bit technical. As the interview proceeded it became more and more obvious that his knowledge and experience was not going to work out for the position.
Soon I directed him that there is a mismatch as to what our expectations and his skill set. And then began the much awaited drama as he begins to cry. Large sobs and tears.
He goes on about how he has been trying to find a job for a long time and is in danger of losing his house and has problems relating to his family. It was one of the most awkward experiences in my work career. It became a tough situation with all that emotional content, I had to put my foot on the ground and had to make him understand the situation.
The Telephonic Interviews fiasco
Once I conducted a phone interview where the situation turned pretty weird. Anyway as the candidate gets on the phone and after the initial introduction I start in with the questions. I try a few times to explain the problem in different ways but it’s just not happening.
At this point he tells me that he thinks it is inappropriate of me to ask technical questions over the phone. I was a bit confused about how to respond to this. I explained that it’s a standard process and that’s how we do it for all the candidates. He again insists that I shouldn’t be asking these such questions and tells me to give him some non-technical questions. After giving him some decent chances to try, I then decided to conclude the interview.
Good, bad, bitter, sweet there are all kinds of experience that an interviewer gets to witness. Hope you have had some too. So the next time you get some similar experience then you know that you are not alone.