I take a huge amount of pride in providing the best possible environment for someone to shine and really show me what they are made of. I feel a huge responsibility to make sure I ‘bring it’ to the interview and by ‘it’ I mean the very best version of myself. After all, the interviewee probably had an early night and an extra Weetbix for breakfast so I should do my bit also.
Excellent - I’ve found a superstar!
I love meeting that amazing person, the one who has all the right answers. The person who, after only 5 minutes of talking, ticks all the required boxes. They are talented, positive, and inspirational and you want them on your team as soon as possible... actually you secretly want to be their best friend! I will give you one quick example of what NOT to do after making such a great impression.
The ‘polite’ walk back to reception
The interview has finished and I’m walking her back to reception so she can sign out and exit the building, but I am definitely going to call her this afternoon and offer her the role. I’m super relieved and excited!
I make polite chit chat to fill time as we walk and I ask her ‘so what have you got planned for the rest of the day?’ and she replies... ‘I have a really boring team strategy meeting’ as she rolls her eyes and pulls a painful looking face.
Excuse me? Did I mishear her? What just happened? I’m confused... actually I’m a little bit devastated!
Surely this can’t be the person that was just telling me what a positive team player she is. Was it all a lie? Or was she nervous? Or did she think because the interview had finished, she was free to be herself and she didn’t need to tell me what she thought I wanted to hear? I smiled politely and thanked her for her time, but I was left deflated and rightly or wrongly I didn’t offer her the job.
It happens more than you think!
This type of situation happens more than we realise because the employer will very rarely give you the real reason. A client of mine once told me that they interviewed a top guy, who had made a great impression until the receptionist confessed to seeing him spit out his chewing gum on their steps as he arrived. Or the interviewee who was driving out of the car park while chatting on his phone and nearly hit an employee returning from her lunch. The employer actually called this chap and expressed his strong disapproval of drivers who use their mobiles... it really hit a nerve!
I once met a director of an insurance firm while at a dinner party who told me they had a camera in their lift which showed a lady (who had just finished her interview) punching the air victoriously and they came to the conclusion that they didn’t like her cocky attitude or arrogance. Not sure I agree with that decision, but it does show that even the smallest things can influence an employer’s decision.
My 'One Mile Rule'
I often refer to this as my one mile rule. It is often beneficial to practice this habit... the interview starts one mile before you get to the location and ends one mile after you have left – simple!
About the author
Over the last decade, Aimee has worked for some of the world’s largest recruitment companies at senior management or board director level. She is now an award winning entrepreneur, presenter and coach. Aimee has helped thousands of people succeed in their dream career through her advisory websiteCareercake.com