This week, our featured post has been written by none other than one of our A-W-E-S-O-M-E Directors, Dane Pickles. One of Dane’s main jobs as each summer gets closer is to interview hundreds of applicants in order to fill our 200+ Camp staff positions. We all have our own stories about personal interview experiences, but it is always interesting to hear from the interviewer themselves, to get their take on the interview process. Dane has given us a little glimpse of what interviews are like from his perspective, after 15 years of interviewing experience.
The Truth About Interviews
By: Dane Pickles
Interview is a word that strikes fear into most people. Interviews, by nature, are very stressful. The underlying purpose is to find out professional and personal information about you. Then compare, scrutinize and rank you, relative to all the other applicants and the requirements of the job. Clearly, this is a potential nightmare, particularly for anyone in the low self-esteem, shy, nervous, introverted or under-qualified categories.
Whether an interview is done by phone, video conference or in person, it can be a scary experience that can leave the applicant feeling intimidated, exposed, alone and vulnerable. Of course good preparation, research, confidence and suitable skills and experience for the job can all go a long way towards making the interview process tolerable, or even enjoyable.
On the flip side of the coin, in my opinion, the interviewer has a responsibility to try and create an environment where the applicant can relax enough to show their true selves. As an employer myself, I want to know the real person I am hiring. Not just the person presenting to me what they think I want them to say or who they think I want them to be. Of course not all employers are so adept at being the interviewer, just as some applicants are not as proficient at being the interviewee.
Invariably, interviews don’t always go so well and awkwardness, embarrassment and even (unintended) hilarity can often be the result. Many people have a story about an interview where something (insert horrible adjective here) __________ happened. As an interviewer of hundreds of people, I’ve had my fair share. These blogs share some great true stories from both sides of the interview. Aside from the humor and squirm-inducing awkwardness of these anecdotes, they provide some wonderful cautionary tales and much can be learned from the misery of others…enjoy!