|Posted on November 1, 2016 at 5:45 PM|
My first blog. Now where do I begin with my first story?
Ok, here goes.
Having spent 12 years in human resources, the things these eyes and ears have seen and heard are simply amazing! Let's start with 2006, my first true HR experience, and one that I will never forget.
I recruited this wonderful candidate, presented their resume to the CEO and hiring managers, and they were also impressed. I was given the green light to schedule a face to face-to-face interview and immediately contacted candidate with a few preliminary phone questions. The candidate was excited and was open to date scheduled. Interview day arrives, reception calls that candidate has arrived. I was so excited, because this was my opportunity to look completely stellar in front of the CEO. I put on my HR hat, took the elevator downstairs, marched right towards candidate, whose first impression passed the test, we shook hands, entered the elevator to the top floor, stopped off in the kitchen for cup of coffee and placed candidate in the conference room.
One by one the hiring managers arrived, of course can't expect them all to be on time..too easy! The CEO walks in confident as always with a stern look of “where is my future employee?”. He takes a seat, and starts by thanking the candidate for taking the time to arrive promptly. Interview panel turns to me, and I gave my usual HR spiel, "this session should last no longer than 50 minutes, we will write down your responses so please do not feel we are not paying attention, yada- yada."
Moving right along, Let's begin with interview question #1: “Tell us a little bit about yourself and why are you applying for this position?” The candidate leaned forward, slowly lookeds around, shined those pearly whites, and with wide open arms bourst out singing, "I want to thank you all for giving me this opportunity"....dead silence in the room. Ladies and gentleman, the candidate sang (and in a rather nice voice too, but anyway). THE CANDIDATE SANG during an interview! I wanted to run, hide, scream, ‘ What were you thinking??
As I sat gripping to the arms of my chair, digging my nails in the plastic cushion, one by one each manager made excuses as to why they had to leave early. Within few minutes, I found myself alone with the candidate smiling, oblivious to what just happened. Yes, sitting there -- smiling, patiently waiting for another question. All I could think about was, ‘My career was ruined, and they are in the coffee room having a roaring good time on my expense’. OMG!! My first HR position and the one candidate I felt was the best fit for CEO's position decides to sing. I wanted to scream, "This was not a singing contest, it's an INTERVIEW!!!"
I felt my life flashed right before my eyes. ‘What do I do, what do I say to this candidate, do I also excuse myself and leave?" I took a breather, and made the decision to finish out the interview. I focused my attention on the interview questions and kept at it for the next 30 minutes. Finally, were at the end of session, I thanked the candidate and asked, "Any questions?", Of course the candidate asked, "What is the next process moving forward and when will I heard from you?" Ummmmmmm, please don't call us, we'll call you and will we’ll keep your resume on file until you lea--ve, no I mean for the next 2 years.
We walked out of the conference room, I escorted them out of the building and as I looked over at the reception's face, I got the feeling she was trying hard not to laugh. I don't know if it was me being self-conscious, but I could have sworn I saw both a smirk and tears in her eyes. On the way up elevator going up and walking towards my HR corner, I could hear the roaring thunder of laughter. I opened the door, and CEO turned to me and said, “Welcome to the world of HR, kiddo. You win some and you definitely lost that one at Hello.”
Needless to say, that experience shaped me to change the company's recruitment process. I became an alpha bulldog, I tell ya, better yet a pit bull --sniffing out the crazies before they came near upper management. No one was getting by me with that again. Get me once and I'll wise up. Lesson learned from that experience, "Failure is the best teacher."
Thank you all for giving me this opportunity…