Episode #139 – The MOST Important Part of the Face-to-Face Interview

The Vet Recruiter®
The Vet Recruiter®
Episode #139 - The MOST Important Part of the Face-to-Face Interview
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Yvette: Welcome to “The Animal Health Employment Insider,” brought to you by The VET Recruiter. In this podcast, executive recruiter and search consultant Stacy Pursell, founder and CEO of The VET Recruiter, provides insight and practical advice for both employers and job seekers in the Animal Health industry and Veterinary profession. The VET Recruiter’s mission is to help Animal Health and Veterinary organizations hire top talent, while helping animal health and veterinary professionals attain career-enhancing opportunities that increase their quality of life.

In today’s podcast episode, we’ll be talking about the most important part of the face-to-face interview. Hello, Stacy, and thank you for joining us today.

Yvette: Hello, Yvette. I’m glad to be here to talk about  this important topic.

Yvette: Stacy, you’ve devoted quite a few podcast episodes to the face-to-face interview, haven’t you?

Stacy: Yes, I have, and with good reason Yvette. As we’ve discussed before, the face to face interview is an important part of the hiring process, if not the most important.

Yvette: How is today’s podcast episode different from previous episodes?

Stacy:  Good question. Today, we’re going to talk about what I consider to be the most important part of the interview, and that is the willingness to overcome obstacles and challenges.

Yvette: What does that mean, exactly?

Stacy: It means doing whatever is necessary to make sure that you give the best impression possible to the people conducting the interview, even if that means being inconvenienced during the process.

Yvette: I get the feeling that you have some examples for us to illustrate what you’re talking about.

Stacy: Yes, that’s correct. And that’s one of the reasons we’re discussing this topic today. I have been involved in a number of situations during the past year in which candidates were not able to handle situations during the interview process. Their inability to handle those situations reflected poorly on them, and to put it bluntly, they lost their candidacy for the Animal Health job or Veterinary job they were interested in and being interviewed for because of it.

Yvette: Do you mean the employer no longer wanted to consider them for the position?

Stacy: That’s exactly what I mean. And believe it or not, two of the stories that I have to share both involve Skype.

Yvette: Do you mean the video chat tool?

Stacy: Yes, that’s the one. I recently scheduled an interview with a candidate for a management position with one of our clients. The hiring manager wanted to do the initial interview through Skype instead of over the phone. The candidate was unfamiliar with Skype, but she agreed to set up a Skype account in order to do the interview. The hiring manager made several comments about that.

He said he was surprised that the candidate had never used Skype before. In his experience, Skype is commonly used in business settings to conduct video conferences. He also said that his company uses Skype for discussions with employees who are working in other geographic locations.

Yvette: So, the candidate was not off to a good start?

Stacy: No, not at all. But unfortunately, it gets worse. The candidate did set up a Skype account. Since the candidate had never used Skype before, I agreed to give her a Skype call to do a practice run before the interview with the hiring manager. The candidate and I connected through Skype just fine.

Then I sent out a meeting invitation to both the candidate and the hiring manager for a specific time. I also confirmed the interview time with both the candidate and the hiring manager in an email. At the set time, the hiring manager reached out to the candidate through Skype, but the candidate did not answer. The hiring manager tried a couple of times, but the candidate still did not pick up.

So then the hiring manager informed me that he could not reach the candidate, so I reached out to the candidate and asked why she wasn’t taking the hiring manager’s Skype calls. She said that she must have gotten her time zones mixed up because of Daylight Savings Time. However, Daylight Savings Time was a few weeks before that, and I confirmed the specific time in an email, accounting for Daylight Savings Time. Not only that, but she also received a calendar invitation for the specific time in her time zone.

Yvette: None of that sounds good Stacy.

Stacy: It was not good. As you can imagine, the hiring manager was not impressed that the candidate could not figure out how to join the call at the appointed time. And he was not interested in any excuse about Daylight Savings Time or anything else. To make a long story short, the hiring manager no longer considered the person a candidate for the position.

But that’s not the only recent story I have involving Skype.

Yvette: What happened in the other story?

Stacy: About a month before the first story, I had another client that was conducting interviews for a critical role within the organization. The hiring manager for that employer also wanted to do Skype interviews. So we had several candidates interview through Skype with no problem connecting. Then we had a candidate who had not used Skype before who had a hard time connecting. The hiring manager was not able to reach him, so she decided to move on with other candidates who could figure out how to do a Skype call and be on the call at the appointed time.

And of course, this kind of thing has happened before, not just with the Skype tool. I have another case study that illustrates this, which I’ve shared before. Just last year, one of our clients was in the process of setting up video interviews with candidates. Now, they weren’t using Skype, but the process and the concept were the same.

Unfortunately, the hiring manager at my client emailed me shortly after the process began to let me know that one of the candidates was having trouble accessing a webcam for the interview. As a result, they weren’t able to participate in the video interview. Now, accessing a webcam is not that difficult. Many laptops are sold with webcams already installed as part of the hardware. You can also purchase webcams separately at an electronics store such as Best Buy.

Yvette: So it seems as though there’s a common theme will all of these stories.

Stacy: There is a common theme. That theme is these candidates were faced with what they perceived to be an obstacle or challenge during the interview process, and instead of meeting the challenge and overcoming the obstacle, they didn’t do it. Can you blame my clients for not wanting to consider these people as candidates anymore?

Yvette: No, not at all. I mean, if they can’t figure out how to solve that kind of problem, then how will they solve bigger problems for the organization if the organization hires them?

Stacy: Exactly. That’s exactly what the hiring managers in these situations were thinking. They were also thinking something else, though. They were thinking that these candidates were not current with technology.

Yvette: What do you mean by that?

Stacy: Well, the video interviews involved using Skype, which is a technology tool. It’s not exactly an obscure tool, either. If they haven’t used Skype, everyone has at least heard about it. Skype has been around for a while now. Knowing about technology and being able to use technology tools are very important to employers including Animal Health employers and Veterinary employers. It doesn’t matter how many other technical skills a candidate possesses. If they’re lacking in the area of technology, it’s going to be a “red flag” to employers.

So the fact that these candidates were not able to meet the challenges and overcome the obstacles in front of them, in addition to the fact they were not current with technology, eliminated the possibility they would get the job. This is why the hiring managers no longer wanted to consider them as candidates, even though they were very interested in them prior to what happened.

Yvette: Stacy, what’s the bottom line with all of this?

Stacy: I’m glad you asked. The bottom line is that the whole point of a job interview is to get an offer of employment. Forget for a moment about whether or not you’re going to accept the offer. You have to receive an offer before you can make a decision about it. Once you receive an offer, then you have the leverage to do what you want. Until you receive one, though, you basically have no leverage and you have no decision to make.

So the key is to do whatever is necessary to get that offer of employment. As a candidate for an Animal Health job or Veterinary job, you have to prove that you’re a problem solver and you can provide value. If you don’t prove those two things, then you’re not going to receive an offer and you’re not going to get hired. It’s as simple as that.

And sometimes, in order to prove that you’re a problem solver and you can provide value, you must do things you weren’t expecting to do. Like a video interview over Skype. Or to use another example, an employer might ask you to give a 10-minute presentation. They might also ask you to write a short business plan. Whatever it is they ask you to do, you must do it if you are serious about wanting the job. The employer is trying to evaluate your skills, your personality, and whether or not you’re a good fit for the position and the organization. They are well within their rights to ask for these things.

So I guess you could say the bottom line is that if want to reach your potential and grow your career, then you must meet challenges and overcome obstacles, and that most definitely includes during the interviewing and hiring process.

Yvette: Stacy, thank you so much for all of this great information. And for those people who are considering a job change, check out all of the current employment opportunities on The VET Recruiter website.

Stacy: Yes, there are numerous good job opportunities posted on our site. For those listeners who want to change their current situation and are interested in exploring Animal Health jobs or Veterinary jobs, I invite them to visit our website at www.thevetrecruiter.com. We post new jobs on a regular basis. Also, if you are an employer who needs helping hiring we would be glad to help you with that.

Yvette: Once again, the website address for The VET Recruiter is www.thevetrecruiter.com. Stacy, as always, thank you for joining us today.

Stacy: It is my pleasure Yvette. I look forward to our next episode of the Animal Health Employment Insider!