Friday, August 8, 2008

Shocking interview

(Image from timesjob)

Many job interviews are normally conducted on the phone if the candidate resides in a different location. Initially I guess people must have had there skepticism about the reliability of the process. I sure did. But, after a few telephonic interviews, I developed faith in this means of hiring, until last week, when to my surprise, the interviewee actually cheated !!

A senior colleague and I were scheduled to take a telephonic interview of a candidate with 6 years of experience in the industry. In order not to reveal any information about the candidate, we shall assume it was a female named 'A'. There was a lot of disturbance on the phone, as A was outside the office. The communication appeared broken. As always, it started with us wanting to find out about her previous job roles, projects, etc. We were not quite pleased with the answers as her knowledge appeared flaky. Nevertheless, we continued to probe. During the entire time, we not even in our dreams suspected foul play. We blamed her repeating the questions after us, he broken answers, her confused thoughts, her switching from one line of thought to another, etc, etc. to the poor communication link.

The interview was not going on well. Then came our final question. Which, as before, she repeated. And then, we heard a voice in the background that had some key words from the question. Fortunately, I could catch that in no time. We immediately put the phone on mute and exchanged glances. We knew what was going on. There was a pause for a while. And then started saying something, which was again quite abrupt. And now suspecting something amiss, we fired some more questions and she was a little confused. She took her own time to answer. And to our surprise, she went from one direction to another, 180 degrees apart. It was quite apparent that she had no clue what she was talking about. Just to confirm, we asked her a couple of more questions. And we found that there were uniform pauses after every question was asked and there were no complete sentences in her answers.

Clearly, after this, it was evident that there was someone who was prompting her the answers. She was repeating the questions to convey the same to him. The person must be writing the answers in broken sentences on a piece of paper. And in the hurry to answer, she must be just reading it out and not being able to form complete sentences. Also, since was not using her mind, she had no clue what she was saying (which was of course quite shocking considering her immense experience).

It is true that even if she was successful and did get a job offer, whether or not she is ultimately able to manage with the work, her resume could say that she worked in the company. However, this is so incorrect! What good would it be ?? Will she ever get the job satisfaction ? Will she ever be able to enjoy work ?? What about her career growth ? Well, to each his own! Quite unfortunate however.


ओंकार (Onkar) said...

A friend in office talked about his experience while taking face-to-face interviews in Hyderabad.

The candidate being interviewed was not able to answer most of the questions on topics listed in his resume. When my friend sought out an explanation the candidate took his resume from interviewer and claimed that he had by mistake brought someone else' resume. He excused himself and never returned.

That was the most bizarre thing I have ever heard about an interview. Cheating on phone interviews is certainly not something unheard of. :-)

Anki said...

Yeah, its not something unheard of..but was my first experience of the same. Also, it taught me what to be aware of when taking a telephonic interview!