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.