The Learning of Job Interviews

Normally, in most personnel selection processes (whether or not you have the job), the candidate usually takes a good impression of the company and the interviewer, using the interview itself to get to know each other better, draw conclusions, Weak points in your profile (the ones you must work on) and, above all, learn. You can draw very interesting conclusions from a good job interview, and it is never "time wasted" much less, but rather the opposite.

Companies are often interested in testing candidates to try to see how they work and make decisions in circumstances that try to simulate day to day (in stressful situations, making decisions quickly, consensual and working as a team, being Resolutions ...). In order to do this, group dynamics, tests and tests are usually presented which present difficulties to be solved by the candidates, with the aim of discovering which is the most adequate according to the requirements and characteristics of the position (who has leadership capacity, who works by objectives, Who is the team, who communicates better, who is able to provide solutions and propose constructive criticism, who is the most creative, who is the most methodical, who speaks the most, who listens best to others ...). They are a very useful type of tests and often even fun for the candidates themselves.

The Learning of Job Interviews

The Learning of Job Interviews


However, a few years ago I had the opportunity to attend one of the so-called "stress" interviews, the existence of which had hitherto been thought to be little more than an urban legend. The "stress" interviews are those in which the interviewer tries to psychologically lead the candidate to a limit situation, generating a great deal of stress and anxiety (in short, making him suffer a bad drink), to the point of trying to collapse In the interview itself. In these types of interviews, it is possible to get to the point of being reasonable, tolerable and admissible in a selection process: they can - they should not - be disrespectful, intimidating, bad words ... never They will be justified in any job interview.


I remember that my interview was for a position in an audit firm a few years ago, and sincerely for some moments throughout the process I came to think that it was a hidden camera, a joke, or that at some point someone would come out To give me an explanation. After a while, when I told friends and people about the world of human resources, everyone without exception made the same comment: that they would never have endured until the end, because they would have risen and gone before finalizing it. Even somebody told me that he would have said four words to the interviewer before going out the door ...

The fact is that the interview was in the morning: as I like to go with time, I arrived with more than half an hour ahead of the time and I waited having coffee in a nearby bar. Obviously the interview was prepared with suit and tie, my resume and some papers and other documentation in a folder. With 10 minutes left, I decided to go into the company office. A girl passed me to a small boardroom and told me to wait a few minutes. After that time, my interviewer entered ...

1. The first sensation: shaking hands

I remember that the first feeling of entrance was already bad: through the door entered a gentleman with a frown (quite badly) and that it was difficult to give me the hand when I extended mine as initial greeting. In fact, I do not think I would have given it unless my movement was quite decided on his hand. He almost did not look me in the eyes (tended to look down), and with an absolute sense of reluctance and disinterest, he "dropped" his hand over mine.

I believe that in psychology we study the way people shake hands in greeting, and depending on this there are 3 clearly identified profiles: those who shake hands with the palm up, palm down and in a normal way (With palm on one side). My interviewer let me drop his hand with his palm down and of course without saying a word ...

2. Professional experience and skills

We sat at a table, and began the interview: he took my curriculum and began to review it and comment it out loud. Usually in the job interviews is usually begin by reviewing the training, and then discuss the work experience. He did it the other way round: he started by asking me why he wanted to get into this job. I commented on my motives and my professional interest in learning in the audit branch, and before letting me finish my explanation, I remember that his first comment with a rather strong tone was "come on, do not tell me milongas!" . The truth is that I was stuck with this first answer (I did not expect it), and I said that my real interest in that position was to learn to be able to exercise as an accountant, and of course to collaborate in getting his company forward , Which really motivated me. I had no need to fool him or hide or change my motivations, but the man put on a poker face, trying to show me that he believed nothing of what he was telling.

He then asked me what activities and responsibilities I had been developing in my last job, and soon after starting to explain my experience in my old company, again interrupted me to say that "I was poorly managed I was", despising the tasks I had done In it, and telling me how I should do things. My interviewer took a step and began to release pearls of the type "I'm already seeing that you can not contribute me", and that it was better "not to waste your time". That his time was very important made it clear from the beginning, and took the opportunity to comment that just a few days before the director of one of the main Spanish banks had been meeting with him in the same chair in which I was sitting at that time (...). During the work experience block, I remember that he also made the comment "you should not go very well" when he asked me about the conditions in which I worked in my old company and in which I had an internship contract. I have never felt a victim, much less for having worked as a fellow, but rather the opposite: I am very grateful to the company that gave me my first job opportunity and I have very good memories, so I did not feel identified with what he said.

3. Academic training

He then went on to comment on my training: he saw that I was a graduate in ADE, and the first thing he did was criticize all the graduates in ADE in Spain, saying how badly graduated we were leaving the university: "ADE finishes the race And you think that you know something about accounting, when you really only know how to make 2 bad accounts ... ", making it clear that he preferred to hire people from other careers who have nothing to do with the company. Of Pharmacy and the chemists were the ones that gave better results ... ???). Insisting on the subject of my poor formative quality, he commented that "I was completely sure that if I asked about any subject of the career I would not be able to respond to it, and that I would surely have forgotten at least 80% of everything that I had taught...". I invited him to ask me what I wanted, and I would try to answer him within my possibilities ...

The truth is that from the beginning of the interview, his tone was rather strident, somewhat shrill, and the intentionality of the comments was clearly hurtful. After putting back and half Spanish graduates in ADE, continued to criticize the training in our country: "you know that I have my daughter studying in the USA because in Spain training is lamentable !! Nobody here values ​​things That are paid with the taxes of all. In the USA no one can think of breaking a streetlight or a trash can because everyone is aware of what things cost ... ". And so I had a good time. The truth is that I got a good "blush" with this issue and the fact is that in the end I agreed with him (in Spain it is a shame the waste of the public sector) but I think they completely failed the forms and the moment.

One of the things that surprised me the most about this interview was the fact that he hardly let me talk (he did not let me explain anything because he constantly interrupted me to correct me or to cut me off with quite harsh comments from my point of view: Had lived a situation in which you find yourself impotent because someone does not let you explain or defend yourself against his hurtful comments). In fact, after elaborating with agility and with considerable nervousness, I complained that "I had not provided any solution to anything that I had raised" (¿the problem of education in Spain ?? my low level of education since His point of view ?? the waste of the public sector and taxes ... ??), that he realized that I was not understanding anything he was explaining to me (I think that at this point he had something of Reason, because to this day I still do not understand what he was referring to), that it was "as if we were speaking in different languages", and that "he was despairing with me" (hearing this I started to worry ...).

When I thought that I had already become agusto and that I would be somewhat more relaxed, suddenly and without waiting he gave me another remark quite wrong: "no matter how encorbatado and suited you come here, you are useless at all if you do not change the way you analyze things And you begin to learn something of truth ". I thought of two things: first, "what a terrible childhood this man should have" and second "how it is possible that I can judge how I am or how I analyze things if he did not let me speak, he practically could not hear me ..." Then he made the remark that he had seen that with me, all he could do was let off steam (and that was true, and well he did).

The truth is that the situation became increasingly tense and stressful, and on several occasions I was tempted to get up and finish the interview because I already saw that that did not lead to anything. But the fact is that I thought to myself that this interview was (1) a challenge that I wanted to overcome, (2) wanted to see where all this ended (because it had to have a logical explanation - would it really be a hidden camera? I was quite clear that although finally and by a conjunction of stars would catch me, I would not accept the job), and (3) I would not give him the pleasure of getting up early and go away from there angry or with bad face, But rather the opposite: I wanted to finish the challenge in an absolutely correct and cordial way (the interviewer can also learn from the interviewee).

As it happened since the beginning of the interview, the few times in which I managed to be allowed to answer something (although never finish a sentence completely), immediately ventured to release new pearls like "I do not like anything what You're saying, "" I thought you were going to think differently, "and even" you have to see the degree of deformation-intellectual-that you have. " The truth is that this last sentence made me feel a bit bad, because I understood that he was calling me a little less than a fool, without hearing me, and with the feeling of not being able to defend myself. But as it does not offend who wants but who can, because I tried to go ahead with the interview as if he does not want the thing: I wanted to know what was at the end of all that ... For some time, the thought that haunted my head was The one of "poor people who have to work with you every day".

3. Complementary training and the end of the interview

Speaking again about the "happy" career of LADE, I told him that I liked it, that I was attracted to the world of the company in general, and every year I tried to complement my training through the courses and Seminars that I saw interesting (in chambers of commerce, business confederations, business schools ...) to try to apply them later in my work. Cruel error! As soon as he saw my courses there embodied in the curriculum, he decided against them: "these are the typical courses given by people who have no idea of ​​anything!" And that therefore "little or nothing you have been able to learn in them". It is curious because he sentenced without even stopping to see or ask who had taught them, in what school, or what they were. It did not matter.

I told him - hardly, as I think I have made it clear, tended to interrupt me constantly - that there was everything in the training sector: good teachers and less good teachers, better courses and worse courses, and many times Depended on the level and experience of the rapporteur. But in general terms, I was satisfied with what I had done, because I had chosen them with a fair degree of judgment, and that I had been able to apply them to my work (at that moment I remembered the financial director of a large company that had taught us to perform Budgets and measure deviations, the risk manager of a bank who had taught us to calculate the different cash flows and interpret them, the teacher of a course of Excel charts with which he had been able to learn to sort and summarize thousands of data ...).

And as the truth was already getting a little fed up with justifying everything and everything, I told him (of course in an absolutely cordial and educated way) that I did not agree with him to say that taking courses is useless, And that I had met good teachers in several of them. "Do not you agree?" answered me. "Then there's nothing more to talk about." And then he took the papers I had on the table concerning my candidacy - which included my resume - and with my hands held high, at the level of my face, began to break them sonoramente in pieces in front of me ...

At this point, we got up, left the meeting room and accompanied me to the front door of the office. I at all times, and although I was somewhat hurt (not to say another word) by several of his comments, I tried to offer him an absolutely respectful and educated treatment. Once at the door of the office, I gave him his hand again and thanked him for his time. And before saying goodbye, he told me that, well, if I thought about it and I was interested in work, then call him ...

You learn everything, do not you?


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