Several jobs ago I was asked to interview a potential candidate for an opening that our company was offering. The position was for a technical professional engineering role. I’ve hosted many interviews in the past. I think I am good at putting the candidate at ease as well as seeing their true colors. From the very first interview that I ever did, I promised myself that I would never ask the “What is your greatest strength/weakness?” Has anyone ever really answered that question with an honest reply?
“Strength? Sure, I’m a real self motivated self-starter with an amazing attention for details and I can burp my ABC’s out the letter M on a good day.”
“Weakness? Sure, sometimes I care about the schedule of a project a bit too much. So much so that I willingly take work home in order to better prepare for the following day and I have a weak stomach that frequently produces explosive diarrhea.”
So I’m interviewing this one particular individual that I took to lunch. I always enjoy handling the lunch time part of an interview. We landed at a fancy Chinese restaurant. The candidate is answering all of my questions without that spark that I needed to see. Unfortunately, he is not going to make my “A” list. We return to the work place and I hand him off to the next interviewer on his schedule. It was uneventful. However, several days later, I received a call from the restaurant. It seems that the management of this restaurant had the un-rewarding task of tracking down each of their customers from the previous days to inform them all that one of their employees, who had just returned from overseas, was diagnosed with Hepatitis. And because this person was the one handling the lemons for the glasses of water, he exposed everyone who dined there. The restaurant was making a doctor and a shot available at their cost for everyone who needed to be inoculated for this particular disease.
I feel that I should tell you that I got my shot right away and never had any symptoms what-so-ever. So if and when we meet one day, you can shake my hand without any thoughts of cooties. And continued reading of this story will not affect your health in any way.
Here is where I decided that blowing off my responsibility of contacting the person I interviewed was the best path for me. The following morning I marched down to Human Resources and talked to the hiring manager. “Look. About that interview I conducted the other day. Would you please contact him to let him know that he isn’t the right fit for the position? And tell him he needs a booster inoculation shot too.”
Better them than me. Can you image being on the receiving end of that phone call?
“Hello Mr. Jones. I’m calling to tell you that we have selected another candidate for the position you interviewed for. And you just might have Hepatitis.”
“So you’re telling me that I didn’t get the job and my liver may be starting to fail? Was it something I said?”
Buy my vaccinated book.
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