Monthly Archives: February 2011

Interview Confusion; HR Questions Gone Awry

Interviews CAN be an opportunity to network…
However, they can also be an opportunity for a company to gain a new customer or keep an existing customer.
I look at interviews as an opportunity to network and stay relevant in my industry.   I was contacted by a well-known Seattle based tech company for consideration of a sourcer position in their corporate headquarters.
My name was referred to this HR Manager by a professional contact. I didn’t apply to the position but agreed to interview.  The only caveat was that I interviewed without the benefit of an accurate job description or  job posting to refer to.
I interviewed with the HR Manager for 20-minutes via phone and his interview questions (in order) were:
“What makes you a good recruiter”.
“What areas of recruiting are your strongest”  (after stating: “no one is good in all areas of recruiting”).
“What was your worst hire”
“What was your best hire”
“Why do you want to work for … (company) “
“Do you have connections at (company name) “
“What have you been doing since February 2009; since WaMu”
“Has ALL your work with Job Spot Seattle and WoVEN been pro bono?”
“Based on what we’re looking for, you’re not going to be a fit for this position.”
He didn’t ask about my experience with and/or methods used to:
  • Measure my recruiting process
  • Track rates of quality hires
  • Determine time-to-fill metrics
  • Identify bottlenecks
  • Improve recruiting and hiring processes
  • Gather data sets for reports
  • Report and analyze data
The above questions would have extracted “measurable” responses.
His questions weren’t focused on extracting experience levels related to: “analytic” “metrics-driven” “data-driven” “numbers and results oriented” and “the ability to convey a market mastery”.  Most importantly, these are not in the job description.

So… What was this HR Manager is looking for? 

Based on his feedback, he was looking for a Sr. Recruiter not a Sourcer.

When I asked for feedback on his determination of “fit” he said

“There are 1000’s of good recruiters out there” and I wasn’t qualified* because I “didn’t show the ability to convey a market mastery backed by facts and data” nor did I “set [myself] apart” from other “good recruiters”.

*These disqualifying requirements were not in the job description, nor did he ask questions that would require such responses.

He said he was looking for an “Sourcer to develop into a recruiter, senior recruiter or staffing manager” … someone who is “analytic, metric driven, numbers focused, and results oriented”. Someone with “proof” of how “good a recruiter they are”

I’ve been a Recruiter and a Sr. Recruiter, among many other things.  Maybe he didn’t read my resume.  Either way, I was almost offended.  But didn’t allow myself to take it personal.

I would not refer anyone from my network to this company or to him because the experience was not positive.

When you contact someone about an opportunity in your organization and they haven’t applied, nor have you provided them with an accurate job description, these types of questions and  judgements are un-called for.

HR, Recruiters & Sourcers should consider each candidate a potential customer.   Even if they are a “fellow recruiter”.

Based on my experience, I wouldn’t do business with this company in the future, either as a job seeker or a customer.

Readers:  What are your thoughts?