Being honest with job candidates

Slashdot: “Do you tell a job candidate how badly they did?

My interview process goes like this:

  • Sort through resumes and pick the five or six most qualified candidates
  • Phone interview, with questions aimed at determining skill and experience level and hone in on whether the candidate has the right stuff for the job
  • For those who make the cut, usually no more than three, an in-person interview, where my questions are designed to determine talents and tendencies

On step one, resumes that don’t make the cut go back to HR with no further action on my part. On step two, candidates who won’t get called in for an in-person interview will be told why. I try to be nice, but I also want to be fair and honest. If there is something a candidate can do to improve, he or she deserves to know what my evaluation is. I may be wrong, but it’s up to the candidate to decide whether to take my advice or feedback. On step three, if the candidate is ruled out in that interview, I’ll give some feedback on improvements, unless something has come up that makes me think the person is of a personality type not to care or listen. The hardest call to make is to the guy whom I like, but just got beat out.

In every case where I think the person has a bright future, but just isn’t right for the job I need to fill, I want to be as helpful as I can be. I’ve been around long enough to know that the person I don’t hire today, might be the perfect hire for something else tomorrow. I don’t know if it’s realistic to hire somebody you’ve previously turned down — I’ve never had that opportunity — but you never know. At least, I think people deserve an opportunity learn and grow, and if I can do one small thing to help in that regard, then maybe the process has been worthwhile.

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2 thoughts on “Being honest with job candidates

  1. I think your philosophy deserves a great big gold star! Your actions show that you are a very conscientious leader. On behalf of the American labor force, I wish there were more employers like you!

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