I was interviewing a candidate the other day for a Director level position in my organization. Now to be fair, the candidate wasn’t really qualified for the job but I could play connect the dots from his job experience to the skills needed for someone in this position to be successful. Plus he seemed like a colorful character from his background so I thought, why not! I scheduled him for a Skype interview and set to work.
First there were multiple technical difficulties. He tried to take the interview on his tablet, while at work, surrounded by people. Strike one!
Then his tablet and his phone cut out, not once, not twice, but three times. Ball one!
Next he did NOT research my organization or even read the job description so he could not speak intelligently about either. Strike two!
He borrowed a phone from a co-worker, called back and apologized, while at the same time asking his co-workers to keep it down while he was on this call. Ball two!
I asked him, “When you reviewed the job description, which areas did you feel would be the most challenging for you?” He replied, “None of them, I don’t think I’ll have any challenges at all.” Ball three!
It’s a full count…needless to say; I’ve known pretty much from the beginning that this is not someone that I’m going to move forward with. However I wanted to get to the final question, because I was really curious as to how he would answer it. He’s labeled himself a ‘talker’ and that he can motivate and coach anyone, and that there are no challenges he can’t overcome. I’m trying to decide if he is charming in an overconfident kind of way or completely arrogant in a really annoying way.
“So why should I consider you for this position?”
His reply, “because I’m me, and no one is going to be better than me.” Strike three, you’re outta there!
One of the best things about a full count, there’s only one pitch left. You have one more chance to hit it out of the park, walk to first base or fail miserably. (And yes, for my baseball fans, I know they can hit a foul ball and it remains a full count; however for the purpose of the argument let’s assume one more pitch.)
Having a powerful personality, the ability to converse easily with people combined with a charismatic energy will get you much farther in life than those who don’t possess such characteristics; however it will only get you so far. I would choose someone with a strong skill set, who understands the work that needs to be done and the qualities of leadership necessary to succeed over someone who is relying solely on their personality to move them forward.
This candidate was one question away from a bottom of the 9th walk off home run; but he came to the plate swinging a twig at a fastball, he didn’t even make contact.
- He didn’t research the company or the specific job.
- He didn’t research the industry.
- He wasn’t prepared to answer real questions about any specifics; e.g. his experience and how that related to the job requirements.
- He actually said his personality gets him what he wants, and I think he believed it.
- He certainly didn’t seek any assistance with how to appropriately answer interview questions
When given the opportunity to redeem an incredibly lack luster ‘at bat’ performance he had no idea what to say other than “I’m me”. Well you’re obviously not Babe Ruth, but perhaps this approach to interviewing has worked for him in the past. As far as this interview went, it was like watching my 10 year old son try to hit off Randy Johnson; painful to watch, but I love rooting for the underdog.
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