You may have heard the quote from Dave Barry: “If someone is nice to you but rude to the waiter, they are not a nice person.” This is especially true in the interview process. A sales candidate just the other day failed this test. They were in their interview with a hiring manager when another employee interrupted them. The other employee introduced themselves but the candidate did not stand up and they were not engaging. Bad move. Now I am not going to say whether or not I think this interaction was planned but it did have the desired effect. The hiring manager got to see how the candidate handles things. Fair? No. Since when did you think an interview was supposed to be fair.
One of the things I have seen in interview processes is that they are sometimes organized in such a way as to test a candidate:
- Not giving you directions to the interview: Maybe they forgot or maybe they want to see if you plan ahead.
- Changing plans: Sometimes things come up or they might want to see if you freak out when last-minute things happen.
- Using a new or different technology: Yes, technology is cool but it can also be frustrating. Do you get frustrated easily?
- Leave you in the lobby, break room or another place where employees frequent: They may be getting things ready for the interview or they may be seeing how you handle new situations. The employees that pass by can be your ally or your downfall.
It is relatively easy to see how people handle themselves, you just need to be observant. This is just to remind you that the interview really begins before the beginning.
All the world’s a stage, and all the men and women merely players.