I was the humorist at our speaking club today. I gave a humorous talk about interviewing.
Interviewing is kind of like speed dating. You’ll meet a lot of people in a short period of time, many of whom you’ll wish that you never met, searching for that Mr or Mrs Right. The big difference is that while speed dating is the beginning of the process, the interview is the end. In one hour, you need to decide if the person is someone you’d like to see almost every day indefinitely. Although there is no guarantee, on occasion, you’ll find that special someone, and makes interviewing worthwhile. But, those individuals whom you would never hire tend to make for some interesting stories, of which I’ll share one today. One of the most memorable interviews I had was with William, whom many of you will know. It was the last interview of the day, and Mark was itching to leave. Thankfully for him, it was a PhD student. As I know after several years of interviewing, PhD interviews often doing go well. This final interview was no different. Right from the beginning, Mark and I both knew that it was a disaster. But at that time, I was still relatively new, and I had made a rookie mistake. Although we tell the interviewee the overall structure of the interview, we keep some details namely long the interview would take and how many questions we will ask top secret so that we can quickly wind things up if things don’t go well. Feeling a sense of obligation, I let the interview drag on, even though it was clear from the answers the final result. And when he couldn’t answer the technical questions, I gave him the answers, just so that we could move on to the next one. William, quite rightly, mentally ejected himself from the interview. He started doodling on the paper. I was so surprised, I even asked him, in the interview, what he was drawing. But I was determined to finish the interview as promised. When I didn’t wrap things up quickly, he kicked me under the table. I thought he was just shifting his feet. And so when that didn’t work, he kicked me again, this time harder. So 30 minutes into a 1 hours interview that wasn’t going anywhere, i concocted a swift end before William found another use for his pen.