Meet the Idiot Named Kerry


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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7 Responses

  1. Amy Boland 8 years ago
    • Kerry Sandberg Scott 8 years ago
  2. Sabrina 8 years ago
  3. novice-hr 8 years ago
  4. abdpbt 8 years ago
  5. Tim G 8 years ago
  6. a traveller... 8 years ago