Volume 67: Honesty in the Interview Process

Open and Honest Communication is the foundation of all strong relationships, 

business or otherwise. If one side is withholding information, or being outright deceitful, the relationship is doomed for failure.

Roy

If friends are lying to each other, or not sharing information that could help the other out, the relationship isn’t going to last very long.

If a vendor and customer aren’t honest about what they need or what they can supply, the relationship isn’t going to last very long.

In a marriage, if one or both sides are withholding information, lying, or cheating, the relationship isn’t going to last very long.

This takes me to a topic that we’ve covered before in this newsletter: employment with a company is essentially a professional marriage. If both sides are getting security and support, things tend to go well, and can lead people to happy and fulfilled lives.

And this all starts in the dating, or interview, process.

The purpose of dating before marriage is to get to know the other person before you marry them. You get comfortable with their strengths, their weaknesses, their aspirations and fears. You learn all of their tics, and if it’s not a good fit, you move on.

In some cases, people will put on a front, or hide part of themselves in order to attract a more desirable mate. Or maybe they feel like they’ve gone too long without, and need to settle for someone that doesn’t share the same goals and attitudes, just to fill the spot in their lives.

These situations are generally not going to end with happy and fulfilled people.

By the same token, the purpose of the interview process is to make sure that the candidate and employer are comfortable with each other and what they bring. The goal is to find the right professional fit.

An employer wants to hear the candidate’s skill level, what their leadership style is, and how they deal with conflict. How will they fit into the culture of the team? What are their long term goals?

A candidate wants to know the company’s trying long term goals. What can they pay? What is the culture? What do they need from this position, and what support can they give?

Pitfalls:

If either side bends, or omits, the truth, they have set up the relationship for failure from the beginning.

And I do understand the temptation that employers and candidates feel: you want to be in the best position and hire the best people.

So, a candidate claims just a little more experience than they actually have in order to get an awesome, well-paying job with a good company. But, that’s going to come out when they get started and can’t measure up to expectations, and they’re not going to last very long.

To attract top talent, a company parades their set of employee-focused principles, but the reality in the facilities may be that those principles get pushed aside for production. That’s going to come out pretty quickly once an employee gets on board, and they’re not going to stay very long.

In both of these cases, the dishonesty, no matter how small, will be the reason the young, professional marriage falls apart, because you won’t have found the right fit.

If you don’t have enough experience yet, get a job that allows you to get that experience rather than stretching the truth on it. If your company’s focus is production above all else, then own it, and find an employee that is wired that way.

The right person is out there for every role, and the right role is out there for every person, but you have to be open and honest with yourself, and potential employers or candidates, to find it.

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