By Heather Lakemacher, Policy Programs Director, Institute for Humane Studies
I was recently talking with a couple interns at my organization who were nervous about looking for “real” jobs. During the conversation, it suddenly occurred to me that part of what makes young people so nervous about interviews is they’ve never participated in hiring anyone! So, from someone who has now conducted more than a hundred interviews, here are a few things about hiring that you might not have thought about.
I want your help. The reason I’m hiring is because I’m swamped. A great person just left my organization to go to law school, and now I’m doing both her job and my own. I’m really stressed out right now.
I want to like you. I just sifted through 60 resumes, some of which were positively awful. (I’ve seen people misspell their own name.) Then I did 15 phone interviews, some of which were also awful. (Don’t bring up embezzling during an interview!) But you weren’t awful. In fact, you were pretty good. That’s why I’m having an in-person interview with you. I’m really hoping that you’re as good in person as you were in your resume and phone interview.
I might not get back to you as quickly as you would hope. Remember how I’m doing two jobs right now and sifting through 60 resumes? As much as I need you to come help me, the crisis that is unfolding in my office at this very moment is destroying my good intention of calling to offer you a job. Not hearing from me right away doesn’t necessarily mean that you’re not going to get the job.
So, the next time you’re getting ready for an interview or starting to panic after one, take a deep breath and put yourself in my shoes. Yes, you probably feel like I have all the power. But remember, I’m really hoping that you are going to be the next great addition to my team.