Seriously… I have recently had an epiphany. Epiphany… I love that word… but clearly not as much as some people. There’s a little girl in my son’s class at school called Epiphany (spelt Epiffiny). Let’s hope she turns out to be a nice girl, otherwise in about 10 years there might be a few boys in my postcode who have had their own epiphanies…
Anyway… my epiphany though came after the following couple of client/candidate phone calls… Shall I frame it? Ok then…
I had a candidate of mine… very strong in background… good billings… one head… his own teeth etc. meet with a very good client of mine… pretty sure he has his own teeth but the thatch on top of his head is questionable at best… at worst? A blatant horse-hair rug. The interview was organised… and I (like all good recruiters), was excitedly waiting feedback. Cue phone call from candidate – Leroy Washington. If you haven’t picked it yet, I often use character names from some well known & some obscure 80’s movies to protect the innocent… it says a lot about me… it’s often a really fun game to play if you try to work out which movie that character comes from… then again some times it’s not.
‘Hi Craig.’ Leroy literally sang. ‘I’ve just left the interview.’
‘Great. How did it go?’ I asked, quickly looking at my watch, and noticing the interview went for just over an hour… a good sign.
‘Really, really well.’ Leroy responded. ‘We got on really well. I really like the company. The opportunity is one I really think I can be successful in, and I really like the offices.’ He says really a lot… doesn’t he?
Leroy expanded on the reasons why the interview went well. It was a lot of blah, blah, blah stuff… but I was feeling pretty confident, particularly when he finished off with… ‘I’m really interested in the role and I really think there will be an offer…’
Without further ado I called the client… Sonny Malone.
‘Hi Sonny, Craig from Watson Collard here.’ I almost said Scott Recruitment… it’s difficult to let go of your past sometimes… ‘I just wanted to get some feedback following your meeting with Leroy?’
‘Yes, hi Craig,’ Sonny countered, ‘have you spoken with Leroy yet?’
‘I just got off the phone with him. He was very positive about the meeting and felt it went very well. He said that the business, you, the office and the opportunity were a perfect fit for him.’
‘Did he say really a lot?’ Sonny asked. ‘He said really a lot during the interview.’
‘I didn’t notice…’ I fibbed.
‘Well to be honest Craig,’ Uh oh… the dreaded to be honest line… ‘Leroy really wasn’t that good…’
Sonny went on to say that Leroy, couldn’t articulate his own value proposition, he felt his billings weren’t self created, he didn’t feel confident that Leroy had an adequately deep network to work with… etc. etc. etc. To be honest (there’s that phrase again), by this stage I had drifted off and was contemplating the pros and cons of getting some thatch-work done on my own receding bonce…
A long story I know, but the epiphany I had was… if I had a $ for every candidate who said there interview went well… and the client said it didn’t… I would be a very rich Craig.
I know many of you are nodding your heads right now. In fact, I put that exact line on Twitter™ and had more favourites & retweets than I’ve had for anything else… ever!
So wrapping this post up what does it all mean?
My advice would be to spend some real time prepping your candidates. I don’t mean getting them to fool their interviewer… what I mean is get them to engage.
Some emotional intelligence techniques… understanding their interviewer enough so that they can see sell themselves at the right level. Being able to articulate their value proposition, and have the guts to raise any annoying habits with a candidate before they meet with your client… I could write another 2 or 3 pages on this, but a very wise man who was reviewing my blog posts once told me… ‘Your posts are too long… try to keep them to 500-700 words…’
Current work count is 733, so I better sign off… I wonder if I could have kept it under 700 if I eliminated my use of the word really?