A recent survey by Careerbuilder of more than 2,200 hiring managers and HR professionals revealed that 49% of them know within the first five minutes of a face-to-face interview if a candidate is a good or bad fit for their organization. Now of course I don’t believe they truly know if the candidate is indeed a good fit in only five minutes so let’s say rather that they have at least made a decision in five minutes to hire or not to hire. Beyond this, 87% claim to know in the first fifteen minutes if a candidate is right for the job.
Careerbuilder continues on to list in their survey report a few absurd things (below) job candidates have done in interviews, though no indication is given if these actually occurred in the first five minutes or not.
- Applicant acted out a Star Trek role
- Applicant answered a phone call for an interview with a competitor
- Applicant arrived in a jogging suit because he was going running after the interview
- Applicant asked for a hug
Using the Star Trek scenario above let’s say that within the first five minutes of walking through your office door your candidate reenacts for you Spock’s death scene from Star Trek II The Wrath of Kahn. What do you do? All joking aside, yes, if the interview fell apart this drastically then sure, you might choose to have the insane Trekkie escorted from your office by security within five minutes. In a normal interview, however, when you discover within the first five minutes that the candidate just won’t fit in do you then say, “Okay, thank you very much for your time, we’ll be in touch”? Of course you don’t! Interviewing etiquette dictates that you must continue interviewing long past the five minute point or otherwise you risk tarnishing not only your image but that of your company. Don’t forget that your rejected job candidates are still potential consumers of your brand.
You could do a phone interview but who wants to deal with the scheduling hassles? Not to mention you’re still obligated to remain on the phone with your job candidate for more than five minutes. Besides you can’t tell from a phone interview if your candidate is wearing pointy Vulcan ears and talking on a cell phone that resembles a Star Fleet communicator.
How then do you avoid wasting time interviewing bad candidates? Pre-screen them with video of course. Within fifteen minutes you can pre-screen five candidates. Better yet you encounter no scheduling hassles. Spock, Uhura and Sulu can interview themselves on their own time from the comfort of their quarters before the star date that their interview is set to expire. You on the other hand can continue running the bridge.
With interviewing technology straight out of the future, you can now seek out new candidates and new cultural fits. You can now boldly hire like no man or woman has hired before!