Susan -- Ah - say no more. You also probably handle surgeons.
Susan Hinchey Gantzer said:
Charlie - I share the same ability - funny to meet you here! The thing about my candidates is that they are attorneys, so they can cut right through any nonsense I try to throw at 'em - and believe me - I try.
Charlie Allenson said:
Hey Susan - where can I sign up for that gig? With the right incentive, I can speak about any subject for any length of time regardless of my knowledge of that subject.
Susan Hinchey Gantzer said:
I work with folks who bill by the hour - so unless I am paying them to talk they keep it brief. Sometimes, I need them to talk more, not less!
It strongly depends on what relationship or setting you and the other person are in but I feel that in general...
If you're in a position that you're coaching and developing his/her interview skills, (kindly) interrupting and giving the candidate some constructive criticism is (in my opinion) much needed. Should you send that person out they represent you and your skill set so you probably want to make it as clear as possible that you're sending through professional and prepared candidates.
If you're interviewing the person in any fashion I find that it helps to preface the call or interaction with a time frame. If I tell you our phone, Skype, etc interview is going to be about 30mins and you spend 27.5 of those rambling or telling me excessive details about a minor accomplishment or impact you made...sorry to be the bad guy but at 30-35mins I'm going to thank you for your time and wrap up the call. Organization, time management, and effective communication are the soft skills that people forget they demonstrate the entire time an interview is taking place.
Plus, be honest. There are some questions that can be fully answered in a very detailed manner in 3 sentences. A five-minute speech isn't required.
Make more impact with fewer and more targeted responses; to be cliché "Less is more"
I do one of the following:
1) I interrupt them politely. That's my job!
2) I ask more close ended and focused questions.
3) I may warn them and say, "I need you to answer the following questions directly, can you agree to this?" (I get them to agree to answer directly.)
4) If I do present them to my clients, I ask them if they would like feedback on their interviewing skills. If they accept, I tell them to answer a question in this way to my clients, "There is a 5 minute answer to that question and a 1 minute answer, I will answer with the 1 minute response and if you have follow up questions, I will be happy to provide more information."
5) I may say, "in 30 seconds or less, please describe..."
6)" In one sentence or less.."
I keep handing them more rope, but just enough to either let them hang themselves, or appreciate that I am in the presence of a beautiful mind. Either way, patience pays off.
Talking too much I can handle...Easy to shut them down when you spent years interjecting to get a word in. Its the candidates that are so sure they know the job brief without ever asking you a question to get an understanding that I find difficulty with. They wax on lyrically about how they can fix the world, and change the business they dont yet work in, never once pausing for clarification. And when you interject, they just let you ask the question and then right back on that train they go.
Last time that happened I just told the candidate they were not suitable for the role and I would have trouble selling them to the hiring manager...well...that set this person off on a big sales pitch, so far removed from what we required that I came out with a headache.
For me it's pretty simple. I realized long ago that my 15 minute - or even 1/2 hour "tips from a professional" with some blabbermouth is only going to be a waste of 15 (or 30) minutes of my time.
I'm not placing that guy. Why hide from the fact that, for the most part, yappy, blow-hard candidates don't get hired. They bore you. They bore your client. They bore their spouses. The bore their team mates.
The DON"T GET HIRED.
So rather than try to fix the flat tire - you're better off to realize you aren't going to score with this guy and spend your time finding the right guy.
This isn't social work people. You aren't paid to overhaul personalities that have been derailed for decades. Besides - you can't even do it if you WERE paid to.....
We're paid to be consultative, you have to tell the candidate honestly through constructive feedback if you feel their talking will adversely affect their chances at interview. By all means be tactful but you have to get your point across but you still have to find a way to help them cut out the waffle before they sit in front of your client and reflect poorly on you.
Or of course if it's a mega technical role be up front with the client, tell them the candidate will babble but they can sit in front of a screen for hours & do a damn good job.
The ability to communicate - combined with fitting in with the team are usually as (or if not more than) important as the specific technical or professional skills.
You aren't going to "consult" someone on how to not be who they are. We are not paid to consult, by the way. We're paid to find the person they want to hire.
Jerry are you really saying you've never taken a candidate you felt was average and coached them well enough to get the role? Whichever way you look at it that's the role of a consultant, you're helping them within the process. It's not cheating the client in any way, some people just aren't good interviewers or don't have great social skills. That doesn't stop them doing say a computer analyst role or being an ESG actuary, there are plenty of technical jobs out there that quite frankly you need no personality to do. The lack of social skills do however hinder them at interview for the role and those skills can be trained or refined to help the candidate.
I use to practice one of the most thorough "prep" approaches in the industry. It would be hard to think of anything I did not go over - in some cases multiple times- prior to each send out. I was just so darn proud of myself - coaching these people on how to interview, how to respond, how to shake hands, how to OWN the job by the time the interview was over.
I have long since decided that work was more or less a load of crap. Nothing we do or say in a few phone calls is going to make much of an impact.
I have tracked my numbers/metrics for 25 years.
During the hey-day of interview preps: 5:1 sendout to placement ratio.
Since I quit dragging my candidates through all that BS: 5:1 sendout to placement ratio
So now I just make sure they know what the job is, know what the company does, how to get there and who(m) to ask for. Then I say "Good luck!"