I was conducting a bunch of phone interviews. Like, 10-12 phone interviews per day, at 45 minutes each, back to back, for days on end. You should never do that, because it makes you stupid.
The way I do phone interviews is this:
- I lay out the interview questions on the left side of a Word table. On the right side, there are blanks for the answers.
- The candidate talks.
- I type in pretty much word-for-word what they say. I have a freakish ability to type as people talk and capture almost everything. It’s handy, because then the hiring manager can see for him/herself what the person said. I am very big on letting hiring managers be the decision makers, and they need enough information to make good decisions. Plus, sometimes I don’t know what the hell these people are talking about (especially for very technical positions). In those cases, it’s best that I document what they say and give it to someone who actually knows the job.
- At the very bottom of this Word document, there’s a place for me to type in my general thoughts about the person. At the top, I either put “recommended for interview” or “not recommended for interview.” I fill that in, and then email it to the hiring manager, along with the resume and cover letter. I’ve done this thousands of times. Thousands. It’s not that hard.
So I had completed this one interview. It was the 11th out of 12 I had scheduled for that day. The guy was good, so I put in, “Recommended for interview,” and I wrote something at the bottom like, “Strong experience and great communication skills. Would probably be a good fit for this client group.”
It’s a good thing I did, because instead of sending it to the hiring manager, I sent it to the candidate. The whole thing. With the interview notes and recommendations and everything.
I didn’t even realize I’d done it until he emailed me back, with a note that said something like, “Thanks—I liked you too. You’re recommended!”
I stared at that email as it slowly dawned on me that I was an idiot.
And then I sent it to the hiring manager, who hired him…because when you have someone who is qualified AND has a sense of humor, you grab ’em.
Tales of the Cluefree appear pretty much every Friday. Past stories are here.
Photo by Lin Pernille Photography
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