Death by Interview

Copyright © 2000-2003 by John Sullivan

“Too much of a good thing is bad for you” is true for both “sweets” and for interviews.

I was at Agilent Technologies the other day when one of their many talented HR reps described “over interviewing” with the accurate and humorous phrase “death by interview.” I laughed and I couldn’t have agreed more!

Because of the threats of lawsuits, HR departments have become increasingly conservative in how they screen candidates. Physical ability, mental ability, personality and even skill tests have gone by the wayside as a result of this fear. All that is left from a once broad array of screening devices is the resume scan, the reference check and the interview. Now one can argue the point about the predictive value of interviews (as I often do) but the real issue here is that, in many cases, companies have increased the number of interviews to make up for the absence of these other screening tools. Unfortunately what has occurred is a dramatic growth in the number of interviews that candidates are subjected to before they can be offered a job. The number of interviews has proliferated like rabbits. Where one or two interviews used to be common, one firm I know now demands 5 – 10 while another averaged over 17 before realizing the disastrous consequences.

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Recruiters: What can you do to make candidate placement a reality?

If you have been in the recruiting business long enough, you most likely have experienced it too. I am talking about rejections made by candidates at the end of the recruiting process; after you have been through all the screening, interviews and negotiations leading to employer’s job offer.  This can be very upsetting to all parties involved.  The fact is that the way you handle the recruiting process up-front will definitely affect the end results.  Here are a few tips to help reduce the possibility of this happening to you!

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3 things you can tell your recruiter, but not the hiring manager…

Most candidates are smart enough to avoid saying certain things that may jeopardize their opportunities with prospective employers.  Such things as, why they really need the money; or extreme challenges that they expect may keep them from performing effectively; or even how their last boss hated them so much that they kept up-staging them.  Such comments will definitely raise a red-flag,  and since employers prefer to hire candidates that seem to have “no personal problems” such comments may also cost the candidate the job opportunity in question.

Knowing this, when dealing with 3rd party recruiters, should candidates keep such issues from them also?

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