What Happens When They Are No Longer on Their Best Behavior?

A variety of things can occur in an interview.

The candidate may talk on and on and be unwilling to give any real semblance of control to the interviewer.

The candidate may get so flustered by a question that he just stops talking and there’s a long, awkward silence. And this may happen several times.

And we have the candidate who is critical of several of his previous employers. Often this occurs to excuse a lack of performance on the candidate’s part.

The candidate may show up late for the interview.

The candidate’s physical appearance at the interview may indicate a lack of professionalism.

The candidate doesn’t let you finish the interview, saying he’s got to be somewhere else.

Okay, one or two of those may be a stretch, but you get the idea.

I realize some individuals do not consider they should even be on their “best behavior” when interviewing for a job. I think there are some that feel they are entitled to the job. But I’m also thinking these individuals are in the minority.

So, for those who show up for a job and ARE on their best behavior, what should we think when one or more of the above happens?

The logic would be: if they are bringing their very best to the interview and then reveal one or more discernible shortcomings, do we take that logic and wonder just how much of that — and more — will show up when they are on the job?

Or do we show leniency and chalk it up as an interview hiccup (or two…or three)?

I’m all for compassion, but the company’s viability is going to take the senior position in my mind.

First, let’s deal with the candidate who feels entitled to the job. They may have considerable skills, but that sense of being owed the job brings other problems I do not think you want. One that comes to mind is the willingness to be a real team player. It’s likely very low. Other issues will manifest from the “entitled” candidate. Me? I am not hiring him.

But this tip is more about observing incompetencies or lack of professionalism in the interview and to what degree can you project that showing up later.

Hiring is a juggling act for sure. If you feel you’ve got many positive points in Candidate A but they demonstrated some weaknesses in the interview, you can hire them conditionally and see how it goes for a week or a month. Or three months.

But you probably should not completely ignore interview deficiencies. Returning to that point of logic: if they are bringing their best to the interview, and their best isn’t even up to what you’d like to see in your day-to-day workplace, then give that sufficient weight in the hiring decision.

As the law varies in each area, please check with an attorney to ensure you are applying these tips within the law.

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