A woman shared her experience on Twitter about a “pressure interview” that crossed the line. Head your team off at the pass.

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Today, I want to talk to those of you hire and tell you a story that made it online. As a reminder to you. Now, I worked in search for more than 40 years and stories like the one I'm going to tell you are not unusual. You may think it's unusual, but it really isn't. And here's what happened.
There's a woman in the UK who did an interview. Now, obviously I'm US based and if you think this is unique to their culture, not at all. She goes on an interview, spend two hours that she describes as being grueling, grueling, tough interviews. That's fine, but it was abusive and the CEO basically called her a variety of critical things, criticized the way she sat, basically described her to her face is an underachiever, told her work really wasn't that a good and a variety of other things that were designed to take this 22 year old woman and take her down a peg.
Yeah, right. That was a smart move. At the end of the day, they make an offer, which she initially accepts, and then has the wisdom to turn down.
In the rejection letter. She described herself as being someone who's just come out of an abusive relationship and realized that this was much the same type of thing, that she was being psychologically abused by the CEO of this firm . . . and that should never be be tolerated.
Folks. I'm just going to simply say, if you don't think that the people in your organization can do this, again, I worked in search for a long time, and it doesn't have to be the CEO of a firm. It can be very simply the people who were doing the evaluation interview.
I heard of people who were interviewing developers who would say things like, "You are a moron," or "you're dead wrong," even though they were right. Now, some will defend that the idea was to toughen the person up,, have them argue intentionally but we live in an age of social media. This this tweet was retweeted almost one hundred thousand times. Do you understand what the impact is of behavior like this is on your recruiting?
You need to train people who are involved in the process to ensure that they behave like normal people, and because they're having a bad day, don't take it out on someone else.
In the case of the CEO, he eventually got around to apologizing online. "I had no intention of humiliating someone." Well, tell me what your intention was when you criticized the way someone is sitting and say her work isn't any good? What was the intention there? It makes no sense.
Some will call this a pressure interview. This is an abusive interview. If you're in HR, if you're a hiring manager, you want to safeguard against people on your staff behaving in any sort of way like this. Take 15 minutes. Just have a quick conversation or send an email out to them and simply say, "I just want to be clear about something (I'm doing this manager to staff). If I ask you to interview, I want you to focus in on a couple things to evaluate and assess. We want everyone to walk out wanting the job, wanting to join our firm (because that is what you want, right)." Even if you don't want them you want them to want it so that in this way if they're turned down they can say to their friends, "I really wanted that one; that was a great opportunity." That helps with your branding.
But this kind of pressure thing . . . it's so 1950s! Is that the way you want to be seen?


Jeff Altman, The Big Game Hunter
Jeff Altman, The Big Game Hunter

Jeff Altman, The Big Game Hunter is a career and leadership coach who worked as a recruiter for more than 40 years. He is the host of “No BS Job Search Advice Radio,” the #1 podcast in iTunes for job search with more than 1300 episodes and his newest show, “No BS Coaching Advice.” He is a member of The Forbes Coaches Council. “No BS JobSearch Advice Radio” was recently named a Top 10 podcast for job search. JobSearchTV.com was also recently named a Top 10 YouTube channel for job search.

Are you interested in 1:1 coaching, interview coaching, advice about networking more effectively, how to negotiate yourJeff’s Kindle book, “You Can Fix Stupid: No BS Hiring Advice,” is available on Amazon. offer or leadership coaching? Connect with me on LinkedIn. Then message me to schedule an initial complimentary session.

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Jeff’s Kindle book, “You Can Fix Stupid: No BS Hiring Advice,” is available on Amazon.

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