Wednesday, September 27, 2006

Don't try this in your office

I had one of the worst interviews of my life a week ago. It's taken me a week to recover. This interview was really over after ten minutes, but it lasted an entire hour because I haven't yet learned how to bow out gracefully.

How would I describe this interview, if I had to use but a single word? A few possibilities:


In an attempt to reframe my experience, I decided to come up with a list of the Top Ten Things Not to Do in an Interview. Now, mind you, there already exist a ton of advice sites for interviewees on what not to do during an interview. These are pretty obvious. For example: Don't put your feet up on the interviewer's desk. Don't snap your gum. Don't giggle if you fart.

No, I'm talking about advice for the interviewer. Because it's not just the candidate who has to make a good impression.

Inspired by actual events, I present:


1. Thou shalt not ask thy candidate about his or her personal philosophy and then declare that it is wrong.

2. Thou shalt not ask thy candidate vague questions, refuse to provide any additional useful information, and then declare that his or her answer is wrong.

3. Thou shalt not preface thy question with, "I know I am not allowed to ask this," and then proceed to ask thy candidate a disguised version of thy illegal question.

4. Thou shalt not compel thy candidate to elaborate on any matter to which thy candidate referreth as "personal."

5. Thou shalt not interview candidates whom thou hast no intention of hiring in the first place. If thou interviewest candidates whom thou hast no intention of hiring in the first place, thou shalt not convey this information to thy candidate.

6. Thou shalt not belittle thy candidate.

7. Thou shalt not get huffy when thy candidate sayeth that he or she honoreth the Sabbath. For I am a jealous G-d and besides I have already made it quite clear about my feelings toward the Sabbath.

8. Thou shalt not cut thy candidate off by saying, "you really believe that?"

9. Thou shalt not present information which is incorrect or untestable in order to prove thy superiority over thy candidate.

10. Thou shalt not do all of these things which I have commanded thee not to do, and then inform thy candidate that thou really liketh him or her and that thou really wouldst like to hire him or her, but thou canst not do so and is that not a shame.

Pretty obvious too, don't you think?

Apparently not.

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