I don't know what you are seeing but i have about reached the point of screaming at the "phony baloney" interview process that is evolving in my market place.

 

Yes, of course.  All the standards, dress right, talk right, ask the right questions, present your achievements, blah, blah, blah.  Now how about we look at what is really going on and maybe how we can get our clients to be a bit more "real".

 

"The dress code is business casual but we expect candidates to come in wearing a suit and tie or a dark professional skirt and blazer and heels without open toes."  Ok, great, so you want candidates to look like the auditors or the SEC have invaded the office.  Why is that?  Would you like to see what they really look like on a day to day basis in your official dress code or do we need to keep phonying up the interview process.

 

You knocked a candidate out because he said something like, "I have interviewed with a competitor of yours and decided they didn't know dip about what they doing".  The internal recruiter thought that was most unprofessional in the interview process and wasn't sure he didn't say they didn't know dick about what they were doing.  Are you telling me that nobody in your office ever says that someone doesn't know dip (or much worse) referring to competitors or even their co workers. 

 

Maybe he shouldn't have said it.  But really, does that mean he is not an extremely well qualified CPA with excellent references.  Please quit drawing yourself up in your pedantic posture , responding with..."Well maybe it wasn't that big a gaff, but (spoken in breathless, horrifed tones) but it was just wretched during the (even more breathless) " I-n-t-e-r-v-i-e-w" process." 

 

Really folks, the interview process is to get to know someone.  It is not the final vows to enter a cloistered order with a vow of silence or the last rites.

 

Does the interview process have to be this phony, pretend, speak in pear shaped tones that nobody uses in the real world?  Dress like one is going to a funeral.  It's my take that we have reached an unprecedented level of "play like" for interviews that needs to be looked at in the hard light of day.

 

Is anyone else seeing ridiculous examples of the interview process?

 

I am starting to suggest to my clients that they lighten up on the nitpicking, encourage candidates during the interview process to be themselves so the corporate fit can be evaluated on what the corporate fit really is in the real world.  I mean, after all if the hiring manager is interviewing candidates eating a doughnut with crumbs on his wrinkled kakis, why is my candidate questionable because he presented in a sport coat and no tie when not one person in your office has on a tie but the security guard. 

 

Let's get real with this stuff. 

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I think in these times companies figure they can afford to be picky, thinking mr. or mrs. perfect is going to show up eventually, and maybe not have a recruiter fee attached to them. if they keep spinning the wheel of fortune, they might get lucky.

but I'm a cynical bastard.
Rayanne, i agree that candidates should not use one of the "7 words one can not say on television", should conduct themselves properly and present well groomed and appropriate. Yes it's a game. I think fair is a kindergarten word so that's not my problem, however if something is unrealistic i think maybe it's time to take issue with the status quo of it is what it is.

Tom, i am not sure if it's fees or if it is a paranoid fear of making the wrong decision or if it's inexperienced HR people who are looking for some reason to have something to say. It's been my experience lately that internal recruiters are raising the bar for TPR referred candidates because their internally sourced candidates are not up to par. I am a strong advocate of working through HR but i am finding that as the internals get younger and more inexperienced and more PC it is becoming much more difficult.

I decided to use a spin on Rayanne's take. Called the hiring manager and said ,"I have gotten the word that you are going to knock this candidate out because he didn't present in a suit and tie." If this offends you i will apologize in advance but perhaps that is too much of an "interview game" and an unrealistic expectation when your dress code is business casual.

What came next will go into my book entitled, "I'm Glad i said Something".

Hiring Manager's exact words, "I am glad to know why HR was having such a knee jerk reaction telling me that they didn't think he was "professional enough" for us. "They don't know jack down there." "I think they sit around and dream up stupid reasons not to hire people when we need help." "Tell your candidate that he will have an offer by tomorrow or we will both be looking for a job."

My CPA got an offer this morning and a hiring bonus. So maybe, just maybe it doesn't have to be what it is if we take issue with the unrealistic.

It may not work every time but i am going back to another client today to ask them if my candidate had said, "They don't know jack", instead of "They don't know dip (or whatever the internal thought they heard)"
Is it realistic or even reasonable to use one comment to knock out a candidate who is otherwise very highly qualified. After all it wasn't one of the 7 words we can't say on television. Maybe it's part of my job to try and bring a little common sense back into my little pond. Maybe there will be a few ripples.
Sandra:

You raise some valid points. It is like missing the wood for the trees. Professional approach is recommended in any business transaction. This is applicable to all participants, on either side of the table.

There are unprofessional, unethical, incompetent candidates. But so are some organizations. In an interview, at times the candidates have to share their experiences to drive home the point. One needs professional maturity (which comes with experience) to understand these aspects. My view.
Sunil,
I believe you have stated a phrase that is critical in everything we do in our industry as well as business in general.

"Professional Maturity". We beat the drum about "professionalism, authenticity, as well as all those other words and phrases that simply boil down to common sense and as you have so well stated. "Professional Maturity".

It would serve us all well at any age or level of experience to strive to achieve just that. Perhaps if we can there will no longer need to be the number of conflicts, disappointments and irritations that we talk so much about in terms of interaction with both candidates and clients. A basic concept that bears discussing. The community might be well served if you started a discussion about professional maturity. Situational examples of professional maturity could be a learning experience for us all.

Excellent point!

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