[09.11.10]
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A Job Seeker Left Out In The Cold

interview tips, out in the cold, job search, ideas

During an interview in 2007, I was subjected to cruel and unusual punishment.  And left without a copy of the Geneva Convention, I was unsure how to handle the situation.

The punishment?

I was left in an interview room for over 30 minutes.  Waiting for my next interviewer.

I’m not sure if this has ever happened to you.  A poor desolate soul.  At the whim of a target company.  Wanting to be confident and strong.  But feeling forgotten.  Like a schmuck.

The truth is that it happens.  In good companies and in bad. It happens when companies are poorly organized.  And when they haven’t assigned someone in HR to know where candidates are at all times.

If you are in HR and have done this to a candidate, shame on you.  Even if you did it by mistake.

Candidates cannot be sacrificed.  It is NOT OK to leave a candidate in the waiting room for an hour or in a conference room for 3o minutes.  With no communication.  No offer of coffee, water or a hint of where the restroom is.

Want to hear my story?  Here you go . . .

So . . .

My advice to job seekers: as i said in the audio file, don’t let yourself be sacrificed.  If you are waiting longer than 10 minutes, get up and find someone to get an update.  It doesn’t make you a bad person.  And if you can’t find someone, get to the lobby and check-in again.  I waited too long.  Don’t make my mistake.  This is one way to signal strength in a job interview.

My advice to hiring companies: if you want to leave candidates feeling great about your company and about their experience there, be smart.  Assign an HR person to each candidate.  Have the candidate’s interview schedule on the HR person’s Outlook calendar so that as each interview is scheduled to end, an alert pops up.  Or even better, choose an interview team that will proactively take care of the candidate from first meeting until the drop off at the next interviewer.  Never leave a candidate in the lobby or alone in a conference room.

Of course, I know that “things come up”.  Interviewers get pulled away or meetings go long.  Business still needs to occur on interview day.   But when it happens, have a back-up plan.  Be considerate and communicate with your candidates.  Because, even in a tough economy, candidates deserve respect.  After all, they are the future of your company.

What is your experience?  Have you ever been left out in the cold?  What did you do? And how did you react once they finally found you?

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Written by: Tim Tyrell-Smith
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Categories: Job Interview Tips

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