I recently met a fellow HR professional at a seminar. “M” and I struck up a friendly work related conversation and by lunch we were trading interview war stories. She shared this one first:
One time a woman came in for an interview wearing 6-inch pointy boots, Tammy Faye blue eye shadow and 3-inch fake, press-on fingernails. Shortly after she began speaking with the woman, the fingernails began to pop off. Halfway through the interview, half of the nails were on the floor. When they were finished the woman stood up and immediately fell. Apparently her boots were so tight they cut off the circulation to her feet. Lesson here – dress appropriately for an interview.
My turn. I had arranged for a candidate to meet with a manager in New York City for a technician position. The gentleman called the morning of the interview to confirm. OK, good start. Approximately 15 minutes prior to his appointment he called to say he was having a difficult time finding a parking spot.
He called back a few minutes later and said he still could not find a spot. The person who answered the phone, since he will be reading this article I will call him handsome “D,” told him that there were several parking lots and garages in the area. The candidate replied that he had no money. He called back a few more times to update his status – still no free parking spots to be found on a weekday on the west side of Manhattan. Shocking!
The candidate finally called and asked to speak to the manager he was supposed to meet with. The manager later shared the conversation with me, “Hey man, umm, I been driving around and can’t find a parking spot. So I am here on your loading dock, just come on down and we can have the interview here.”
Interestingly, the manager declined. But, he did peek out the window to get a look at the guy. He was dressed in shorts and was wearing a baseball cap.
Here is a tip: probably a good idea to anticipate that you will have to pay to park in NYC. Oh and, as previously mentioned, dress appropriately for an interview.
“M” went next. She had set-up an interview after hours because she was replacing a current employee. The candidate walked in dressed in black, head to toe. Dark black hair, accented underneath with bleached blonde hair.
They sat down to speak and “M” commented, “What an interesting necklace you have on."
“Thank you, it is a vial of blood," the candidate replied casually.
The woman went on to explain that she was a vampire. “M” told me the first thing that ran through her mind was, “I wonder if fangs are covered under our dental plan.” (See, you work in HR long enough and not much fazes you.)
“M” described the duties of the job and mentioned that the hours were 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Yup, you guessed it; the woman asked if night hours were available. I guess that bursting-into-flames-if-daylight-hits-you thing is not conducive to a productive day job. Please understand I have nothing against vampires. Robert Pattinson can take me out for a bite anytime. I even used to watch the soap opera “Dark Shadows” at my Aunt Barbara’s house.
The lesson is, if you are a “night" person you should seek employment with hours suited to your needs.
Interviews are difficult to get. Please, take every precaution to make sure yours is taken seriously. As the saying goes, “you never get a second chance to make a first impression.” Make yours memorable for the right reasons.