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Hiring managers. Would you ever employ someone like this at interview

(44 Posts)
Llechui Fri 03-Mar-17 09:54:51

If they seemed warm, honest and like they'd be great to get along with in the team. Feedback from reception was that they were very helpful to someone who came in upset.

But when they got to interview they went blank when answering the basic question about their experience. They apologised and asked if they could come back to the question at the end.

They answered the other questions fairly well. One technical question very well, the example of work experiences well but when they went back to the first question they still only touched on what we would have liked as an answer. They noted this by apologising and saying they had gone blank but at least had added a bit more to the answer.

They've only just qualified and did have the experience as mentioned on their application. Just the interview let them down.

They seemed nervous but no shaking or sweating.

Would it be unreasonable to employ someone like this? Would you be unimpressed overall?

It's for a job that requires communication skills, a professional degree and positive attitude/initiative.

I ask because I'm seeing several candidates like this. Seeming to get nervous and go blank and I find that when employing the ones that showed great confidence and perfect answers they're a nightmare to work with even if they came across lovely in interview.

Sometimes you can just feel a warmth and genuine nature in someone, which I'm starting to give more credit to.

Suzytwoshoes Fri 03-Mar-17 09:57:38

I'd employ this person if everything else went well and you had a good feeling overall.

Think you are correct about the perfect interviewees being hard work once employed!

Llechui Fri 03-Mar-17 10:02:58

Thanks suzy

Young people these days seem very nervous at interviews. Maybe I might just scary! 😳

Lunalovepud Fri 03-Mar-17 10:04:14

If they meet the criteria / competencies for the job I would hire. If they didn't but I had a good feeling about them I would keep them to one side until the end of the interviews of all candidates and then see what the situation was in terms of successful candidates to vacancies - if there was a spare vacancy for them I'd give them a shot on probation.

In my experience the way someone is at interview is often not a reflection of what they are like as an employee so you're always taking a chance really... I've had people who were excellent at interview but then absolute nightmares from start to finish when hired. At the other end of of the scale I've had people I've taken a chance on be absolutely brilliant right from the off. Good luck!

MrsDustyBusty Fri 03-Mar-17 10:07:34

I think I'd look very favourably on them. At least it sounds like they actually want the job - and that's a good bit of the battle!

Llechui Fri 03-Mar-17 10:12:10

I'm always impressed by a candidate who acknowledges a poor answer and asks to
Come back to it and tries again!! I don't know if it's just me.

Percypig88 Fri 03-Mar-17 10:19:16

I would. I hired somebody who's CV was really good and came across as a friendly and competent person, however didn't interview very well and didn't answer questions as well as they could have. They've been in the job 4 months now and he is the one of the best employees in the company...even said himself he knows he doesn't interview well. Some people just get nervous.

Vq1970 Fri 03-Mar-17 10:22:36

You mention that it's a young person - could it be that they don't have much experience at interviewing? Interviews are awful even for people who are experienced. I'd probably be more wary of people who are over confident at interview.

If everything else stacks up, I'd employ them.

Originalfoogirl Fri 03-Mar-17 10:23:18

It would depend what the question was. If it was " have you ever been sacked" or " if a client asked you to do something illegal, would you" then no, I'd not hire them.

If it was " you want to be an accountant, can you explain the basic principles of accounting" then if everything else checked out I'd probably go for it.

The only other concern would be, if he's in a role where he might be faced with challenging questions, then his ability to do so in front of clients might not be up,to scratch. If it concerns you, then it would concern a client which might not be a good idea.

TempusEedjit Fri 03-Mar-17 10:23:24

I sounds like they handled the situation reasonably well so if overall you have a good feeling about them I'd say yes to giving them a go.

I've had to fight to employ people before who weren't great on paper but I thought would be excellent in the job (and indeed were), I think gut instinct counts for a lot.

MrsHathaway Fri 03-Mar-17 10:23:25

I guess it would depend on the job.

If you're hiring someone to make presentations in high-pressure situations, then you can't hire someone who goes blank in high-pressure situations!

Otherwise I honestly think that rapport and general understanding of the field/role etc are far more important than one-size-fits-all competency assessments.

On the specifics of going blank when talking about experience, I know I've done this. The best example in my head was really illustrative, but I couldn't work out how to explain it without breaching my then-current client's confidentiality, and having summoned the best example I then couldn't think of any other examples! But in some cases it could be that they freeze on that question because they've lied about their previous experience in their CV/cover letter and can't quite remember what they're meant to be evidencing. Solid procedures about being able to dismiss if application documents or references prove to be less than honest can cover you in that case.

elastamum Fri 03-Mar-17 10:24:39

I have about 25 years snr management experience. If they met the competencies and I thought they could do the job I would hire them. Being nice and a good fit for the team is a massive positive. Check their references though.

wettunwindee Fri 03-Mar-17 10:25:25

I'm always impressed by a candidate who acknowledges a poor answer and asks to come back to it and tries again!

As am I. I equally like people who know their weaknesses once employed. Without knowing them, you can't work to eliminate them.

Why not have a second interview? I like two stage interviews as nearly without exception, people let their guard down in the second and you get a much more accurate idea of how they are as a person and employee.

allthelaundrywecannotsee Fri 03-Mar-17 10:26:25

How much time do you spend on chat/general questions that are there to relax them?

How did you question their experience? was is competency based? I find that adapting questioning helps, some people get more nervous if they are asked general questions as there is almost too much to cover and are better being asked very specific questions.

Could you call them back for a second interview?

Witchend Fri 03-Mar-17 10:31:11

blank when answering the basic question about their experience

That would worry me a little. It's a basic question and also one that might be expected. It would make me wonder whether their CV was totally honest.

It depends what you're asking "Give me an example about when you handled a difficult situation" - fair enough to go blank as you have to remember a specific example and apply it to that situation.

"Describe what experience you have on photocopying worksheets" I would be more suspicious because it's a factual one that they should be able to say "oh yes, I do that weekly etc."

AlecTrevelyan006 Fri 03-Mar-17 10:42:46

Recruitment boils down to this - 1) can they do the job and 2) will they fit in? If the answer is yes to both of those then they are worth hiring. I would never employ anyone if I had doubts about their ability to fit in.

'Fitting in' is of course a broad concept. I don't mean, man or woman, young or old, black or white etc (not least because it's illegal to make recruiment decisions on those factors). But can you imagine that person working with you, taking instructions from you, getting on with other team members, going the extra mile while necessary? Etc - for me those are the things that tip the balance in favour of one candidate over another.

fernanie Fri 03-Mar-17 10:42:50

"Describe what experience you have on photocopying worksheets" I would be more suspicious because it's a factual one that they should be able to say "oh yes, I do that weekly etc."

I would get stuck on this one, even though I do do a fair amount of photocopying! I'd be really confused by "describe" in the question - "Uhmm... I put the worksheet in the paper feed slot, and then I select the number, colour and size I want for the output...."

OP, if they've only just qualified they're probably feeling like that's their biggest weakness and are worried about someone with more experience getting the job based on that. So it might be that the question just touched on a bit of an anxiety of theirs. Depending what sort of job it is, I think skills / experience (which can be taught) are less important than personality / character (which can't be).

(Disclaimer: I've been out of management for about 15 years so perhaps things have changed. But I have just qualified in a new career so I can empathise with how the candidate might have been feeling!)

Llechui Fri 03-Mar-17 10:42:50

We've never done second interviews and they're not accepted at our council.

I wouldn't say she met the competencies. The answers were a bit lacking in detail.

But she came across well in terms of she seemed someone who would be great to work with.

I'm seeing this a lot more.
Young people very nervous in interviews.

Astro55 Fri 03-Mar-17 10:48:00

The thing is - they build themselves up for interviews - really want the job - and BAM! First question throws them and they feel they've lost it - probably spent a lot of time getting ready etc

I've been for several interviews all very different in approach -

If you have a good feeling offer her the job!

allthelaundrywecannotsee Fri 03-Mar-17 10:54:39

If you see it a lot then is there a way that you could change your interview structure and approach? I am a bit of a stickler for the competency are really get in there and ask until I get the detail that I want (without making the nervousness worse). It's really tricky, I wonder what I would think now if I interviewed my 18 year old self!

PageStillNotFound404 Fri 03-Mar-17 11:01:33

Was there a candidate who DID meet the competencies who you'd be discarding in favour of this "nice" person who didn't? Or was she the best of a weak bunch?

The problem with putting too much weight on personality is that generally speaking, we're drawn to the same kind of person. So if you let that factor into your recruitment practices too heavily, you risk ending up with a team who have the same strengths - but also the same weaknesses.

JoJoSM2 Fri 03-Mar-17 11:01:48

Really depends on the post. If it required confidence, working under pressure etc then not. Otherwise, I'd look at other options at the interview. For example, you could give them 15-30min to think about the questions before speaking to you. Or you could devise a computer-based competence test and spend the interview checking their soft skills and getting to know them otherwise.

loaferloveforyou Fri 03-Mar-17 11:02:43

I would hire them. Their actions in reception speak volumes as does the fact they recognise when they have answered a question badly. The worst ones are arrogant ones who make up stuff just to answer a question. If they recognise where they need to improve there is less chance of them 'winging' in and making mistakes causing more work to be done (or covering their mistake entirely)

ExConstance Fri 03-Mar-17 11:09:48

I have had the difficult experience this week of interviewing four internal applicants for a job which would be a promotions for them. They are all very aware of what is involved and one of them has done holiday cover for the post. I think they all have the potential to work in this role. They have interviewed terribly, been totally blank about their experience in crucial areas, not remembered training they have had and one even forgot about having attended meetings with social workers about a customer. If they were external applicants I wouldn't feel happy about nay of them.

highinthesky Fri 03-Mar-17 11:10:52

I'd be very wary of someone that interviews slickly at that stage in their career. IME all it indicates is they've had a lot of interviews!

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