Adventures in Interviewing……Nail Biting

Nail biting imageI get the call that my candidate is ready for his interview. During my phone screen he sounded great but there was a slight reservation. I couldn’t quite put my finger on it but I liked him enough to get him in to meet with me.

I walk into the room and sat down. I look across the table and sitting there was a fellow who was looking into the furthest corner of the room.

“Well this is awkward” I think to myself. But I start by asking a few questions about his background and what he’s like outside of work. Bueller, Bueller..Nothing.  Still no eye contact.

I can’t take this all day so I ask him whether there is any particular reason why he isn’t able to look at me. Is he nervous? If so, there’s nothing to be nervous about. Zip, zilch, nadda…crickets.

“OK so let’s talk about the role you have applied for”.  As I start to look down at my file I realise he is picking his finger nails and has quite the little stockpile right on the table in front of him. Before I can close my jaw – he swiftly wipes them off the table onto the carpet. I’m a little bit speechless and as I continue on he then starts to warm up and I actually get a few words out of him. As he was talking about how he likes to work on his own, and finds it hard to make friends (you don’t say), he then closes his mouth and burps. I’m looking at him because I’m wondering why he looks like he has a mouth full of water and like a 12 year old letting down the school bully’s tyre, he opens one side of his mouth and blows out the air….

I’m pretty sure this is the point when I look around, expecting Ashton Kutcher to run in and say I’ve been Punk’d.

Moral of the story: Always communicate and make eye contact. And get a manicure before you attend the interview.