Puppies, Interviews, and Train Wrecks

By: Ron Bower

I spend way too much time in meetings—and in between meetings—at local coffee shops. Do you know what I see and overhear nearly every day while I’m out there? Interviews. And a lot of them! (But wait, what about the puppies? Read on.)

I can honestly say that in the countless interviews I’ve encountered in the wild, I have experienced only a handful that didn’t make me cringe or feel the need to interrupt the interview and provide some counsel to the interviewer. I’ve occasionally even considered handing the business card of an employment lawyer to a candidate on their way out the door. Yes, those interviews were THAT bad.

You may think that your managers know what they are doing during interviews, but they don’t. They may be ok for a while. But there always seems to be that moment where you look away for a hot second and everything goes off the rails.

It’s kind of like when you leave an uncrated puppy alone in the house. They will sleep 98% of the time you are gone… no problems at all. Then, there are the few minutes when they wake up and decide it would be fun to see what your new couch tastes like!

It doesn’t take long, and the basic everyday interview turns into an absolute train wreck.

The well-meaning question of concern about, “Who is going to watch your kids while you’re at work?” or the, “Oh, I went to that high school, when did you graduate?” as an attempt at making some sort of personal connection around people you might both know… innocent? Probably. Personal connection? Maybe. Illegal? Every day!

You will sleep much better when you know that your managers are well-trained in interviewing skills and are consistently asking strong, meaningful, and legal interview questions. And, to be fair, that will be way easier than crating your hiring managers. Haha!

Start the year out right and solve the problem.