Over the years, I have spent a considerable amount of time interviewing individuals. I have also discussed with others on what they look at while arriving at a decision to hire a person. The reasons vary, but what I did find was that the decision is sometimes taken even before the person utters a word. The interview is usually to confirm the interviewer’s feeling. What are the signs that an interviewer looks for?
I remember once receiving the CV of an experienced banker. The person who recommended him mentioned that he had very incisive credit skills. The bank was looking for a good credit person. The interview was set up. There were three others on the interviewing panel. The person arrived. He walked in with a slouch, like a man half-dead and with no energy. The message he sent was so loud that no one even wanted to ask him a question. The consensus was that he was not aggressive or had the stamina for the job.
On another occasion, a young person came in for an interview. He walked in with a smile on his face, shook hands with everyone and looked the interviewers in the eye. He was relaxed and confident. I could see the interviewers framing questions in such a way as to enable him to answer them impressively.
In an attempt to ascertain what are important to interviewers, I asked a cross-section of senior executives to share their thoughts with me.
Captain Krishnan Nair - Chairman - Leela Group of Hotels
While interviewing people, I look at their grooming, the manner in which they speak. Punctuality is of utter importance as I am from a military background. Also, a little bit of family background makes sense.
I have absolutely no time for long CVs. I’d rather have a small CV preferably two to three pages long. A shrill voice is definitely irritating.
Dr. Nanshad Padamsee – Chairman - Development Credit Bank and Managing Director - Eagle Flasks
I make it a point to study CVs very carefully before meeting those being interviewed. Broadly… what I seek while interviewing a person are…
His competency to meet the challenges of the job
Whether he can fit in the culture of the organization
Whether he is a team player
His attitude to risk aversion
In fact here I would say that I look at a person who has had absolutely no failures in his career as someone who has played safe and never taken any serious individual initiatives. I have observed that people who have learnt from failures are the best and above all - Integrity!