A Prescription for Truth

Jun 25, 2010

Over the last 48 hours I have had some frustrations to say the least. ..3 to be exact.  Yesterday morning I awoke after a wild thunderstorm only to find that a 3 story gutter downspout had wrapped itself around my car.  This morning I was driving my other car to work and something didn’t feel right…that something was a flat tire.  A call to State Farm and a trip to Tire Barn and these frustrations were taken care of.   Don’t worry, I don’t have a third car, or who knows what might happen then!  Not so easily remedied is my last frustration; the disconnect between an interviewers actual feelings, and those they convey to the candidate.

I’m not talking about someone who leaves an interview with a false sense of security because they assumed the interview went well, and was wrong to assume so.  I’m referring to an individual who leaves an interview with a false sense of security because the interviewer distinctly conveyed interest, when they were indeed not interested.  Who does this benefit?  Some examples of this type of conveyance include:  telling a candidate they are perfect for this job, informing them that a 2nd interview is to follow, having them complete a subsequent step – online application, personality test, etc…, and the very worst…that an offer will be extended.

When an employer has no intentions of pursuing a candidate beyond the first interview, it is frustrating when these things are said anyway.  I’m not asking for brutal, unabated honesty, but I do ask that we find a way to pass on a candidate without deceiving or misleading them in the process.  If this is occurring because the interviewer is afraid to give bad news or doesn’t want to hurt anyone’s feelings, then it is obvious that they should not be conducting the interview.

An interview can be analogous to a visit to the doctor.  The health files, screening, tests and questions about your health are very much like your work history, discussion of work ethic, and personality in an interview.  Imagine for a second that you go to your Dr. for your yearly checkup.  During the course of which he discovers you are in pretty poor health. Rather than hurt your feelings and give you the bad news, he says to you “Everything seems good. ..see ya next year!”   Now imagine his assistant calls you a week later and says “I’m sorry,  I know the Dr. said you were in good health, but the results of your tests are in and you are not well.”  It just doesn’t seem fair.  Had he told you his concerns initially, you could have already taken a course of action.  Leaving someone on the hook for a job they will never be offered, only delays their search and restricts the attention and effort they could be applying to other opportunities.

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