The Deer In The Headlights
This candidate sounded perfectly confident during her initial telephone interview, but when she got into my office she froze up like a frightened rabbit. She sat perfectly still with her knees pressed together, her shoulders slightly hunched, and her hands in her lap. Only her eyes moved slightly. She had great experience, but our rougher patients can smell that kind of fear. They would eat her in one gulp.
Mumbling is not a good activity in an interview. It's especially bad if you have an accent.* I have a pretty good ear for accents. I missed 10 - 20% of what this candidate said while straining with all my might to understand, which means that the average person would probably miss at least 50%. The department I manage is all about communication skills. Next candidate, please.
If you caught my tweet a couple of weeks ago about a gum-chewing job applicant, this wasn't her. I had a second gum-chewing interviewee within two weeks. What is it with these girls? Doesn't anyone teach them basic manners? I might have let that go if everything else about her was excellent, but I sussed out from her attitude and some of her answers that she might be a little lazy too. I like employees who are self-motivating. NEXT!
The Day-Dream Believer
Such a sweet lady, with a genuine smile, and living in an absolute fog. Her resume looked great. I called her and set an interview date. Two days later our ad ran in the newspaper a second time, and she sent me another resume. Clearly she wasn't keeping track of which jobs she'd already applied to. That didn't look good, but anyone can make a mistake, so I kept the interview. This woman couldn't give me one straight answer. She'd get to talking and go off on tangent after tangent, rarely providing the actual information I was looking for. Thank you for coming. Don't let the door hit you in the butt on your way out.
The Bearer of Broken Dreams
This candidate left the administrative field to follow her dream career. Since the recession hit, the dream dried up and withered away. She had all the qualifications and qualities that I was looking for in an employee, except enthusiasm for the position. She was very obviously disappointed to be back in the administrative field, and the signs of her glum bitterness showed through her professional veneer. I'm sorry for her loss. But I don't want that negativity in my department. There are plenty of people who would be excited to have the job, and I'll be happy to give it to one of them.
I think I've actually found her. If all goes well I'll be able to offer her a position very soon.
*Edited to add: I don't want anyone to think that I'm xenophobic. Just to be clear, 50% of my current staff have accents, relative to common speech in Toronto. Also, Mrs. Right has an accent. I'm not against accents, so long as there is no mumbling to complicate the picture.