I’ve already been interviewed for a communications position, watching one of the speakers write messages on his cell phone, playing with his coffee and generally showing no interest in the interview.
The recruiting process can be difficult for a company looking for the perfect employee, but that doesn’t excuse the attitude of the man who had obviously given up that day. His colleague tried to regain control of the interview, but it was obvious that the process had gone off the rails.
When I was phoned a few days later and asked if I wanted to go for a second interview, I refused. I explained that the attitude of the man I had met had embittered me. His behaviour taught me a lot about the kind of man he is and possibly the kind of company he works for.
Expectations: Companies rely on the professionalism and competence of candidates. Candidates should also rely on the professionalism and competence of the people who interview them. The company is not doing you a favour, it is trying to attract the best talent. By adopting an unprofessional attitude, interviewers risk missing their chance to hire the best talent.
Corporate culture: Imagine being treated unprofessionally in an interview. If you accepted the job, can you imagine how you would be treated as an employee? First impressions are very important and, thanks to social media, companies can no longer hide a bad corporate culture.
So how do you deal with a bad interview?
1. Remain professional
He may not have been professional, but his colleague was: I responded to that person. Acting professionally means staying positive and not showing negative emotions.
2. Aiming for the goal
I was tempted to stare at him while he was writing messages on his cell phone, but I was aware that I was still in the middle of an interview. If you find yourself in such a situation, aim for your goal – to do a good interview for the job.
3. Asking questions
By asking questions, I learned more about the company culture and the position.
What next? My words were reported to the distracted man, who was quick to call me and tell me, vigorously and defensively, that he had, in fact, listened to the interview and was taking it very seriously. Needless to say, I withdrew from the interview process.