- Author: Noah Rickun
- Subject Matter: Management
- Issue: Hiring
I’m an easy interview, but a tough judge. I don’t use personality or behavioral tests – I’ve tried them all, and I do see some value there, but I’ve also relied on them for hiring decisions, which I later came to regret.
I don’t call your references. It’s a waste of my time and theirs. You’d never give me a reference that would say anything other than the most amazing and wonderful things about you anyway.
I do call your customers. I can count on them to tell me what I need to know about you.
I ask you unique and powerful questions that give me an understanding of your thought process and your philosophies. I give you a tour of our offices, and I introduce you to everyone. How you engage and interact with my people means everything to me.
- I give you every opportunity to ask me smart questions and to uncover how you can help us the most.
- I laugh a lot and I have fun.
- I expect you to do the same.
- I make quick decisions.
- If I like you and I think you’ll win here, I’ll call you quickly and I’ll set up a time for you to come in and shadow some of my people for a few hours.
- I want you to see what it’s like here from the inside out.
- I want you to meet people and to decide for yourself whether you’re a good fit.
- If I don’t ask you to come back, I won’t send you a letter.
- I just won’t call. Sorry in advance if that frustrates you.
Perhaps you would have appreciated the following letter, as this is the letter I’ve always wanted to send to applicants whom I did not hire:
If you are reading this letter it is because I have decided against hiring you. You deserve to know the truth. You deserve to know so that you can:
- Stop wondering if I’m ever going to call you back.
- Focus on your other opportunities.
- Improve yourself before your next interview.
Basically, I didn’t hire you because some or all of the following are true:
- You dressed poorly.
- You came late.
- You showed up empty-handed.
- You didn’t send me a follow-up note or email.
- You didn’t fit in or you didn’t stand out.
- You didn’t take notes.
- You were rude or aloof with my people.
- You failed to bring me an idea or a question that demonstrated you were prepared for the interview in terms of me.
- You asked me about vacation time, holiday pay or other cushy benefits way too early in the process.
- You have never visited my company’s website, our Facebook page or our YouTube channel.
- You spent $500 creating your résumé, you can recite your accomplishments line for line, but can’t tell me one thing you learned during your previous employment.
- You said or did something that made me question your honesty, your integrity or your character.
- You do not have a single ounce of Google-juice.
- Your Facebook account is full of hundreds of pictures of you drinking beer, smoking dope and wearing nothing but a jock strap.
- You told me, quite emphatically, that you left your last three jobs because your boss was an idiot, the people you worked with had the worst attitudes and/or because you were treated unfairly.
- I asked you about the last business book you read and you couldn’t remember the name.
- You did not ask me a single question.
- You reeked of “what’s in it for me?” rather than “how can we win together?”
Don’t feel bad. That’s not my intention. You’re going to be a big success. You’ll just need to be successful somewhere else.
It’s possible, though unlikely, that I am wrong about you. You may be the best thing for our business. You may be the answer to all our prayers.
If you are, and you believe in your heart that you can help us and that you will be fulfilled and happy doing so, then prove me wrong.
Show me the real you, and I’ll show you a real opportunity.
Noah Rickun, aka Captain Reman, is the vice president of sales & distribution at ETE Reman. An aftermarket veteran, Captain Reman is known for sharing his sales, business and customer-service knowledge weekly through the e-newsletter Reman U.