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Posted on March 6, 2015

The Worst Interview I Ever Had

I thought I’d found the perfect job for my next career move as I was finishing up my MBA. It was doing strategic communications for a large Austin-based technology company (hint: it rhymes with Bell) and I’d done a couple of rounds of phone interviews. The team seemed great, the work was interesting and I was excited that they’d asked me to fly out for a final round of interviews. With a company provided plane ticket, rental car and hotel information in hand, I boarded the plane out of San Francisco hopeful about the future.

We know from our Employee Experience Survey that 89% of employees say the interview process made them excited about working for their company. And as the plane touched down in Austin, I was excited. The next morning, bright and early I got up to go to the interview. I confidently walked into the reception area and gave my name to meet with the first team member.

And then I waited. And waited. And waited an hour past the appointment time for someone to come get me. The interview went downhill from there – no one I was supposed to meet with was there, it seemed I had been forgotten. Let’s just say that my excitement level went from sky high to rock bottom fast. I was no longer interested in working for the company and felt mislead about the opportunity.

As I’ve gone on to work with companies as they create great employee experiences, I’ve thought a lot about my worst interview and how companies with great hiring processes usually get the best talent. So here are some tips that will help create meaningful employee hiring experiences:

  • Show employees potential career paths during interviews. In our research, more than half of knowledge workers are not being shown potential career paths during interviews (58%).
  • Tell it like it is. An interview process that accurately conveys information about the job, including all that it involves and with whom, is related to higher engagement among employees
  • Remember that the candidate is interviewing you as much as you are interviewing them. So maybe don’t forget they flew out from California and leave them in the lobby. Personal opinion, of course. J  
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