Why are interviewees being treated with such a lack of respect?

Why some interviewers could do with remembering where they started out. 

In my work as a career coach, I am becoming increasingly disillusioned and disappointed by managers and executives who conduct interviews.

In the past month alone, I have heard various stories from clients about interviewers who treated them with disdain and a complete lack of respect.  There was the manager who requested someone come for an internal interview in an organisation, and then didn’t have the courtesy to show up himself, but sent one of his associates.  There was the manager who arrived late, totally unprepared and seemed completely unaware of who he was interviewing and for what.  Then there was the organisation who gave a client only 24 hours’ notice to travel a substantial distance for an interview.  The client was also asked to do a presentation.   The client was then made wait over five weeks for feedback, and when it eventually came, he was sent a generic email from an address that didn’t belong to any of the individuals who actually interviewed him.   I might add that my clients in these cases are all high-level professionals.

Feedback is another highly contentious issue.  It is one of the biggest gripes I hear from clients.  If a prospective employee has taken the time to prepare (and believe me, from my experience most of them prepare diligently) to answer your questions politely and share their experiences with you, isn’t the least you could do provide them with some feedback as to why they were unsuccessful in their interview?

How are employees ever supposed to improve in their career development without sufficient feedback as to why they didn’t succeed in obtaining the position?

I am shocked at the number of ‘so-called’ prestigious large multi-nationals, as well as some smaller organizations, who are lacking in this area.   I have had clients sent for a number of internal interviews, as perhaps the company was downsizing or re-structuring, and they have been treated disgracefully.  I have suggested complaining, but of course most conscientious individuals have no wish to rock the boat, and this is something managers know.

It is making me seriously question the integrity of managers in respected positions. Perhaps the managers and interviewers are too busy or too stressed to take the time to conduct professional interviews.  If this is the case, then the organization has a problem and a substantial one at that.

If prospective employees can take the time and make the effort to prepare properly, doesn’t it go without saying that the manager or interviewer should do the same?  You would think so.

If even one manager or HR executive reads and reflects on this, it will have been worth it.  (If not, at least I have got it off my chest!)  If you are reading this and nodding along in recognition, ask yourself if there are any actions you can take to improve the situation in your firm.

Those conducting interviews may wish to consider how they would like to be treated in the same situation.  Sadly, I think they have long since forgotten this.  Let’s hope they never find themselves in an interview – or perhaps, let’s hope they do.

‘Treat Employees like they make a difference and they will.’  Jim Goodnight.  CEO. SAS.


Benefits of ‘The Six Thinking Hats’ by Edward de Bono

I recently came across the book ‘The Six Thinking Hats’ by Edward de Bono and was surprised I had not encountered it before.   If you have experience of using ‘The Six Thinking Hats,’ this blog post may be a good reminder on how to reconnect with the concept. If like me, it is new to you, come on in and join the party.

Edward de Bono is the author of over fifty books and is famous for developing the concept of ‘lateral thinking.’

His concept of ‘The Six Thinking Hats’ is used by business leaders and creative thinkers worldwide.  So, how does it work?

Each hat stands for a different way of thinking about a topic:

THE BLUE HAT stands for  Managing the Process.  So, you obviously start here.  How long are you going to discuss the topic?  Working through the other five hats etc.

THE WHITE HAT (sorry had a problem getting white and a highlighter on WordPress – having a nightmare with WordPress today.  Work with me – imagine the word in white!)  It stands for collecting and discussing ONLY the facts.  No emotions allowed here!

THE GREEN HAT stands for creativity.  This is where you consider fresh ideas, new perspectives and alternatives.

THE YELLOW HAT stands for exploring the values and benefits of your ideas.  If it is working, why so?  What are the benefits of doing it this way?

THE RED HAT stands for expressing your emotions about the project.  How do you feel about the ideas/concepts you have decided upon?  This is the place to get your frustrations/fears or maybe even your happiness out in the open.

THE BLACK HAT stands for the voice of doom.  This is the opportunity to be the judge and state why this absolutely will not work – shoot em down, why don’t you?

So that’s all well and good, but really, do we have time for this?  What are the benefits?

Well, for one thing, it immediately cuts out black and white thinking – sorry, couldn’t resist.

It also helps individuals focus on problem solving from six different angles.

It enables people who may be ‘stuck’ in one type of thinking to consider the problem afresh and anew.

On your team, you may have ‘process driven thinkers’ who will enjoy the green hat and the yellow hat, and you may have control type thinkers who are more prone to focus on the black and white hats (I actually typed in ‘shite hat’ there by mistake!)  Forcing them to look at the issue from another’s perspective can boost not only your own productivity but that of the whole team.

The emotional types are also forced into considering the problem from a ‘facts only’ perspective – something they may find challenging.

I hope you can see that by using these ways of thinking you get a much deeper insight into, not only how to solve a problem, but how you think about and work through a problem.

I will definitely be using this process both for myself and for my career clients.  Sometimes when I meet a client, they are so focused on one aspect they hate about their career or job, they have never considered approaching the problem from another angle.  I am hoping the ‘six hats’ are going to provide me with a useful tool to enable us to open up the discussion and consider it with every hat on.

I hope you have found this useful.  Hats off to you if you plan on using it!