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After the Interview – Part 1

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Haven’t you always wanted to be a fly on the wall during an interview, just to see what the interviewer(s) ask and how prospective candidates answer?  Well, CNBC’s “The Job Interview” is doing just that and we thought we’d take a look at the good and the bad in what we are calling “After the Interview.”  Join our very own Jay Floersch, Vice President of RPO & Talent Solutions, as he recaps each episode every Thursday as our guest blogger, starting today!

What could go wrong in an interview? How about the interviewer asking you what your closet looks like or worse, the interviewer falls out of his chair!  Those are just some of the scenarios in last nights “The Job Interview.” The show was fun to watch and did give viewers a sneak peek into the reality of a job interview in today’s world. I took away many insights and am excited to share some of those here.

When Xendoo co-founders Lil Roberts and Steve Gelley began the interview process they started with open-ended questions (well done!). Asking questions like “Tell me about yourself” or “Tell me what you know about Xendoo,” give your candidates an opportunity to promote themselves and display if they did their homework! As an interviewer, don’t be afraid to reply with “tell me more about that” when they start talking about their interests, it’s a great way to understand more about your candidate.

The P&L review exercise was a brilliantly executed question/role play excercise. This gave the interviewers a chance to see how analytical the candidate was. And, perhaps see if they have growth opportunity within the organization. The other question that piqued my interest was “In what order do these three areas drive you; Praise, Financial and Accomplishment?” The interviewer was looking for the “correct” response of 1) Accomplishment 2) Financial 3) Praise. Xendoo has the right to determine what order they want in response. However, studies showthat the two most important things candidates want from their job are Pay & Praise. I’m not saying Xendoo’s order is wrong, but it made me question if Xendoo truly knows what their employees want. If they’ve surveyed their employee base and found that top performers respond in the desired order, then good-for-them; they’re assessing and selecting candidates accurately. If the desired response is solely based their perception, they may in-fact be hiring their counter-culture. Key takeaway: Employers, identify your top performers and survey them to know exactly what they want from their job. Then interview to those results to ensure you select future top performers to join your organization.

Since we don’t get to see the entire interview process, I can only surmise there were more behavioral type questions asked in addition to the opinion based ones. Asking behavioral-based questions like “Tell me about a time you did this. What was the situation? What tasks were required? What action did you take? What was the result? If the candidate responds in hypotheticals, “this is what I WOULD do” vs. “this IS what I did“ it may tip you off that your candidate doesn’t have the experience you need.  Key takeaway: probe them for REAL examples, not hypotheticals.

Seeing the candidates pre-interview preparation clips were humorous and uncomfortable, and I am looking forward to a recurring theme of humor in the episodes to come. From typos on the resume/CV and inappropriately dressed candidates to a lack of preparation on the candidate’s part before the interview and selfie’s in the waiting area, the key takeaway is: candidates need to PREPARE and PRACTICE for the interview. There are nearly 200 million examples on the internet of how to prepare for interviews and Glassdoor is a great place to check employee reviews, culture and get a peek into the type of questions the employer will ask. Employers beware – candidates are very resourceful!

During the second part of the show, CEO Chrishon Lampley of LoveCorkScrew kept the interview process comfortable and fresh. They even held a “mock-selling” event to see how the candidates would handle themselves in a real-world situation. My key takeaway for the candidate:  Do your research. If the job requires you to be out in public (Brand Ambassador), then you should expect questions that try to uncover how you would handle yourself in a given situation. Go the extra mile. Read the “case-studies” on Xendoo’s website. Buy a bottle of LoveCorkScrew’s wine and take note of the experience you had when you shared it with a friend. This shows your interviewers how excited you are about the opportunity and your ability to prepare.

My final recommendation is to CNBC’s job interviewers, walk into the lobby to greet your candidate. Every new hire at every level within your company is an important hire. Show them that you care about them. This is not to say you shouldn’t vet them hard and be highly selective because you should. However, candidates that are considering multiple offers (and most are in this low unemployment market environment) will gravitate toward the company that has a welcoming and present culture the moment they walk in the door.


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