When I was a hiring manager at my last company I had a number of times when I was looking for talent. One particular round of hiring stands out from all others. I interviewed about 20 people. This was a long time ago but I remember many of the people I interviewed. They were MEMORABLE – but not all of them were memorable for the right reasons.
Are you memorable for the right reasons, or are you memorable in a way that will (a) not get you hired but (b) be part of stories/examples (like this post)?
The people who I interviewed were memorable because they:
Wore a suit. Now, this was GOOD. But the reason he was memorable was because he was the only one who wore a suit. I was really surprised that no one else dressed in what I thought was common interview attire.
Had BIG hair, chewed gum the entire time and talked like George W. Oh yeah, and a short miniskirt… Any of these three things could have made this lady memorable but all three made her extra memorable. The gum thing was disrepectful and should be in any interview 101 book, but people don’t think they really have to even say it, right? The George W. language… it wasn’t the best English, and that was a concern. We weren’t ranching, I was looking for someone to represent the IT team to my company clients. The big hair and the short skirt weren’t a big deal (however, the skirt was not appropriate for that interview), definitely not show stoppers, but the bottom line was that I didn’t trust this person to represent my organization to my customers.
Could do EVERYTHING. One guy has a resume with over 20 programming languages in the skills section. He was a sophomore or junior in college. Maybe this guy really did have proficiency in 20+ languages, but I could barely do one or two and I really questioned his proficiency in 20 languages. My thought? Just because he read an article on a language didn’t mean he could put it on his resume. He failed to help me understand that he had proficiency in any language, much less 20.
Could do NOTHING. One foreign exchange student with very poor English skills showed up because a professor told her to get an internship, and this would be a good one. The problem was that she had ZERO experience with anything to do with computers… and this was for an IT role. To her credit, she was very candid about having NO experience, not trying to make anything up. But there was no way I could hire someone at that level. Why was she there? I really don’t know.
Looked like he fit the part “to a T.” And then there was that guy that had everything… everthing. He looked good, dressed good, sounded good, had all the right answers. I thought “this is the guy who can represent us well. This is the guy I want on my team. (I ended up hiring him, but he didn’t last. Looking good was not a key success factor… I should have dug deeper and really challenged his abilities. )
I could go on and on. Anyone who interviews people could tell you about past interviewees… because they were memorable – some for good reasons, some for bad reasons.
My statement to you is: YOU WILL LIKELY BE MEMORABLE.
My question to you is: Will it be for good reasons or bad reasons?