The Three Immutable Laws of Corporate Job Interviews
By Paul Feeney Managing Director, Sanford Rose Associates - Wayne | October 2008
All went well until he walked into the office of the division's legal counsel, who said, "I think I've met you before." As she told the division president later that day, she would never forget the rude individual who had sat next to her on a long flight to Tokyo - resisting all attempts at conversation.
The following morning, the search consultant received the bad news from his disappointed client. The company would pass on Mr. Right.
When Saying 'No' Beats Saying 'Yes'
Here are the three immutable laws of corporate job interviews: (1) R'esum'es are twice as likely to rule candidates out as to rule them in. (2) Spots appear on ties and blouses, no matter how carefully a candidate eats lunch. (3) Introduce a candidate to enough people, and someone will be rubbed the wrong way.
Given those immutable laws, confirmed by years of careful observation, it is amazing that any job candidate survives the interviewing and hiring process. Moreover, in recent years - and for several reasons - the situation has grown worse.
First, many managers today feel under intense pressure not to make a wrong decision. The negative construction of the previous sentence is deliberate. With companies of all sizes and stripes having slogged their way through the 2001-2003 recession and with numerous positions hovering on the brink of elimination, the emphasis in corporations everywhere has been on avoiding mistakes - not on taking risks. If one doesn't want the proverbial axe to fall, the safest choice is not to stick one's neck out too far. And that applies to hiring, as well as to every other business decision.