A hands on approach
If I thought calling candidates for one job was difficult, organising myself to call candidates for 5 different jobs was really difficult.
At the one-month mark, I know just enough to attempt to manage a few jobs. I’m going to interviews with every senior consultant in every spare moment that I’m not in training seminars. I’m asking as many questions as possible, and I’m paying particular attention to learning about various businesses that I’d never even heard of a month before.
Slowly, I started grasping the interview process. I started to realise what right questions were, though sometimes I’d only get one or two in to each phone call.
My biggest challenge was rushing through conversations because I was nervous, not finding out enough useful information. When finally the day came that I had to conduct an interview of my own, I was determined to find out everything.
I spent around an hour preparing myself, making a full list of questions to ask, referring back to the candidate’s CV and basically memorising the job spec.
When it came down to it, I couldn’t have wasted my time more effectively if I tried.
The moment I introduced myself, all the planning went out the door. I quite literally forgot everything I had planned to discuss and felt myself turning a deeper shade of red with each consecutive question. Needless to say, I was mortified.
Luckily, my mentor was there to step in and save the day. She was able to completely turn the meeting around, and by the end of it the candidate was excited about the job and we had learned everything we needed to know about her.
Back at our desks we discussed where I’d gone wrong, but mostly she told me I needed to relax. To challenge myself I scheduled myself in for 3 more interviews in that same week, and with a lot of guidance I gained a bit more confidence.
Something that I realised this week was that I was completely overthinking the process. I was forgetting that the person sitting across from me was a human being, at the end of the day, and I was putting so much pressure on myself to perform well that I was counteracting all of my training.
By applying this attitude, I found myself immediately asking better questions, not walking into the room with the usual swarm of butterflies and actually feeling pretty confident determining whether my candidates were good fits. (Well, as confident as I could be 5 weeks in.)