Applicants who are too perfect
"With me you win a team-oriented, always highly motivated employee," says the applicant. "In stressful situations, I keep a cool head. Already during my studies I was able to acquire extensive knowledge. "
This has been going on since 15 minutes. No, it is not the first spring sunshine that warm my head that I want to fall asleep comfortably.
I'm in a job interview and I'm bored. "This is a very important point that you take there in your question." Parried the candidate just like new and perfect. Too perfect for my taste. Your answers seem trained and memorized. She talks a lot and yet says nothing - and that is, unfortunately, not least of all to our questions.
Talks on the same level that bring further
"Mrs. Schneider" I interrupt and deliberately risk the break. "What would happen if you took a break for a year in your current job?"
For the first time, she looks at me and has no answer. "Hm" thinks about you. "Um, nothing, I believe." My colleagues look at me puzzled but interested. Also you were dissatisfied and bored, they will tell me later. Now, they nodding encouragingly to me to continue.
"You described in detail what conditions you need to be able to work professionally, as you say." Now she takes a sip from the glass of water in front of her. Ahnend that now something unprepared, she reaches for block and pen.
"I am the fairy godmother"
"I am the fairy godmother." I continue in a friendly, calm and determined manner. I realize that I have your full attention now. I can see how the applicant puts herself into a working mode. "Imagine, you have the job. It's Monday morning 9.00. You come to your height-adjustable desk, sit on your ergonomic office chair, and your Mac Air is fully installed in front of you. You are now Head of Sales Department. What do you do?"
It takes a few minutes - but then there's an interesting conversation about sales strategies, the best headsets, and whether SCRUM is a method in sales Team can establish. In the end, the applicant will thank you for the interview. She will find that it has taken place at "eye level" and realize that the job is not right for her. But she has an acquaintance whom she will recommend the job to.
What to do with people instead of checking off
All the career fibs, guides, and HR blogs that daily suggest that there's something new with posts like "the 7 Key Questions for a Job Interview." Does that really help us? Sometimes I do not remember if this is still a conversation or a hearing. Many a candidate seems to have taken the word application training too literally and has probably gone into an application boat camp.
We have checklists, question lists and prepared processes. We have automated, standardized, digitized, documented and optimized. What makes a good HR specialist? Did not I even want to do "What with people"? Now I'm increasingly hooking lists of prepared questions and answers while I should actually listen. I mean, really listen and do not wait for the candidate to catch his breath and it's finally time to postpone the next question.
Advice without advice
Exaggerated, completely covered? May be. That same evening, I dusted a book and started reading it again. "Advise without advice" by Sonja Radatz. It was very inspiring to me a long time ago:
It pays off to stand next to yourself once in a while, to pause, to reactivate what seems to be forgotten and to break the rut. Circular questions are now part of my repertoire and the fairy question has become my favorite question.
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