As a professional interim manager as well as a corporate thriller writer, I go to interviews a lot. Spring tends to be a busy time. The New Year has brought new budgets to spend, and employees follow up on their New Year Resolutions to seek a new job. If you’re one of them, what should you be doing?
The golden rule is a single word: preparation. Establish what you can bring to the employer and tie that into what they’re looking for. Other than that, turn up both on time and smartly and appropriately dressed. Be positive and know your worth. Try to be nice…stories about interviewees swearing at their interviewers on the tube, in car parks and elsewhere en route to the interview have gone viral recently.
These are the rules of the game and a good interviewee knows them. Interviewers, sadly, don’t always play by the rules. In my thriller After The Interview, poor Andrew does everything right for his interview at GardNet, but still fails to secure the job of his dreams. His interviewer, a man on the autistic spectrum, doesn’t appreciate Andrew’s worth and pays a terrible price for his mistake many years later.
After The Interview illustrates what good employers know (and what GardNet obviously didn’t) – an interview is a two-way street. Even when the economy falters, good candidates can afford to wait for the right job. At GardNet, the directors dismissed their bright Human Resources manager as “the HR bunny”. Is it any wonder they made enemies?
While I’ve never had an interview like Andrew’s, I‘ve had others that were interesting, to say the least. There was the recruiter who sent me to the wrong address, the interviewer who complained of hunger throughout our meeting (but refused food), the interview conducted by phone for a job to start the next day – the list goes on. Actually, I took the job after the last one, and it was a lot of fun. Sometimes, even after a less than perfect interview, you just have to follow your instincts.
Although I’ve never been motivated to take revenge, Andrew’s reaction in After The Interview is all too human – and a cautionary tale. You can read this “delicious tale of high-flying business” here.