What not to say in an interview

One of my top priorities in my new role is to hire an Office Manager/Administrator for the organization. My goal is to find someone who will partner with me in running the business. Primary duties require strong Communication and Organizational skills, Accounting skills, Project Management Skills, Administrative skills and prior experience with My Former Employer (“MFE”), our customer. I posted a blurb on Facebook, and I sent a list of job duties to my organization as well as to MFE Sr. VP’s Executive Admin for distribution. Recent and pending “Reduction In Force” actions at MFE have resulted in a talent-pool of available resources in Austin.

Out of the dozen or so resumes received, I brought in 7 candidates for interviews. One of those candidates left the wrong kind of impression. I share this to reinforce a message that many job seekers already know.

My team is located in a lab on the 4th floor of MFE’s building. When a candidate arrives in the lobby it’s convenient for me to be notified by either the candidate or the front desk security. Then I go meet the candidate and bring them to our lab.

As I approached the door to the Auscom lab, this particular candidate said “Oh! That’s how you spell it. I was spelling it ‘Oscom’. No wonder I couldn’t find anything on the Internet.” Later she shared her delight that I’d called her back after she didn’t respond to the voicemail I’d left last week. Apparently the message I left was garbled. When I called her again over the weekend and spoke to her directly I gave my name, the name of the company, the position and confirmed that she had my phone number.

As we chatted during the interview she mentioned that when she got to the lobby of my building she was glad she had my phone number from caller ID because she’d only been able to provide my first name to security at the front desk. She said she didn’t catch my last name when I called her.

Now I’m really curious, so I ask, “How did you hear about this position?”

“I responded to the posting on careerbuilders.com”

“But this position wasn’t posted on careerbuilders.com”

“Maybe it was one of the other sites. I’ve really sent my resume out to a lot of places.”

Out of curiosity, right in the middle of the interview, I said, “Let me just check my records here.”

All of the interviews were set up in response to e-mails I’d received. When I checked my archive I found the e-mail from the candidate. Someone had forwarded to her the job description that I’d sent out…which included my full name, the name of my company and my phone number. She’d sent the e-mail back to me, indicating interest and requesting an interview.

Next candidate, please!

In a sea of potential candidates, it is not good to stand out as the one who couldn’t connect that the “Fran” she was meeting with was the same “Fran” she’d contacted directly a few days earlier. She got flagged for “inattention to detail”.

Question: What other important “don’t do’s” have you run across in the pairing of jobs and candidates?

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One Response

  1. Good Grief, just flag her as a numnut. Excellent, glad to see that as you increase workload and obligations you add another blog to your to do list . . .

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