“Insecure managers create complexity” – Jack Welch
I came across an interesting article this week about the use of simulated work environments to assess people for certain positions. (The link to the article is in the "Whilst you are surfing" section). It was something I used in the UK with a number of recruitment clients as part of the selection process. It certainly highlights to all of us how prepared we need to be nowadays to handle all types of selection situations and caused me to recall perhaps one of the more bizarre interviews I ever had.
It was a number of years ago, in the UK, when I was looking for a new Sales Rep position and had been sent by a recruiter on an interview with what was then one of the top 100 employers in the world, a household name, definitely one you would like to see on your resume. I was excited and had, I thought, prepared well for the interview. However on arrival at reception I was asked if I would like a coffee or tea whilst I waited, I said yes please and was directed to a vending machine in the corner where I had to pay to get a beverage.
The director or HR then came down to meet with me and proceeded to call me Peter, I thought it might be a test and immediately and politely corrected him. On arrival in the interview room the other two interviewees, Sales Director and National Sales Manager, were standing and I was introduced as Peter again! The room had 3 red chairs and one yellow arranged in a square and I was asked to take any seat. I chose one of the red ones and was immediately asked to move to the yellow one! At that point the interview in my mind was over; the company had failed to make any kind of positive impression on me and had really left me with an impression of pettiness. It was not a company I wanted on my resume.
When I first got in to recruitment I promised myself that I would always treat candidates the way that I would want to be treated and I believe I have done that in both recruiting and coaching. It also serves as a reminder to be strong enough that if we are not being treated with the professionalism and courtesy we deserve that we have the right to end the process, better that than be looking again in 6 months.