I hope everyone had a great and safe 4th of July holiday. Our weather was wonderful here in central Florida and several friends joined my wife and me for a party around the pool followed by some great food off the new Weber grill. (It was great cooking over charcoal again after all the years of gas)
The Friday before the holiday, I had a candidate speak by phone with the CISO at a client of mine. My client is a mid sized organization that realizes they are way behind in their Infrastructure Security and want to bring in a top talent to get them where they need to go. They had already talked with two other candidates earlier in the week that I had presented and wanted to talk with the third and last person before heading out for the holiday.
The Candidate Feedback
Friday afternoon, I got a call from my candidate telling me he thought the conversation had gone very well. He was able to answer many technical questions and provide ideas how they would handle the upgrade to new security and so forth. The client really liked his ideas and they seemed to hit it off very well. In fact, they even joked around a bit at the end of the conversation. He felt that my client would want to have him fly in for an interview.
The Client Feedback
On Tuesday, when we all went back to work, the client called and said they would like to invite candidate #1 and #2 in for on site interviews. This was great news and I then asked about candidate #3. Would they also like to invite him in?
The short answer was not at this time. The client said his skills and experience were great and were equal to the other candidates interviewed through me, but he had turned the client off at the end of their conversation.
Here’s What Happened
During the first 95% of the phone interview, he presented himself well in regards to his current and past duties. He was clear and detailed on the approach he would take to complete the task the position required. They were getting along very well, so well in fact that my candidate decided to share what he though were a couple of humorous anecdotes.
They were funny to the candidate, but the client was not as amused and felt the candidate’s professionalism left something to be desired.
When you are on a phone interview you are speaking with a hiring manager / authority. They are not your friend or buddy today. They may become your boss soon and perhaps later a friend, but not today. They are on the other end of the phone to learn about you, your experience and personality.
In this economy, most employers are going to phone interview multiple candidates to screen down to a couple to invite onsite for an interview.
Phone interviews need to be handled as professional as an on site interview since they are generally the first step in the process. To be eliminated from the interview process for telling what you think are humorous stories is purely a waste.
In coming days, I’ll right a posting about the no-no’s on interviews both phone and on site.