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Wednesday, 12 September 2012

It burns!

Hand Update: Well, it doesn't burn any more actually. It just itches and aches a bit, which is a lot less dramatic sounding.

I've had a mixed few days.

On the one hand (boom t*sh) I've been waiting to hear back about a job I've applied for.

On the other, I've been interviewing people as a favour to another department (they wanted a completely unbiased interview panel). Usually, I interview people I know, for a job I have an interest in (perhaps I'm the recruiting manager, or the recruiting manager is a colleague in my department).

In this case, I don't know the people, I don't know the job, and I'm simply there to present the competency questions, and along with my interview partner, score the interviewees.

It's been quite enlightening in terms of making me more aware of the effect of unconscious bias. In a normal interview, I'll have formed an opinion on who I think is best from the CV, or from what I know of them previously, and sometimes that seeps through into the interview. If I know the example they're talking about, my brain can't help but fill in the gaps and perhaps then mark their examples more generously because I know what they mean, even if they don't say it quite right.

Candidates don't always live up to your expectations.
Unusually this time, I know literally nothing about anyone! Not joking. In the first interview I couldn't even remember the person's name. It's been very, very bizarre. Sort of like an interviewing blind date. Is that what it's like working in recruitment? A whole series of blind speed dates?

 Also, I usually find interviews quite intense, but in this instance it hasn't been at all (well, not entirely, but that's another story!). In fact, it's been extremely liberating to know I don't need to make the choice at the end. I just rock up, fire away some questions, score them, and hand the summary sheets back to the recruiting department.

But sometimes they really, really do.

Of course, Wee Bella might disagree about the liberating part. She's my interview partner, and because of the Burned Hand Incident, she's had to take all the notes. And she is very thorough. I'm willing to bet by the end of the week her hand aches even more than mine.


  1. Actually I'm googling RSI as we speak. It is a funny old game isn't it. It's given me some insights into organisational behaviours and also into my own. Does that make sense? I was very close to taking that pen off you on Monday. Trying to take notes. Tsk, Tsk. I'm also laughing at the name forgetting, I'd never do such a thing ;-)

    1. Totally makes sense. I've realised how much more you need to say when it's an interview with people you don't know, external interviews even more. I never realised how much I was filling in the blanks for other people before.

    2. And I hope your wrist is not too achy! I've just taken my strong co-codamol so I feel fiiiiiiiine.