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Self Indulgent Interviewers October 2, 2013

Posted by Audit Monkey in The Joy & Pain of Internal Audit.
Tags: , , ,

To start, I’m not quite sure whether ‘self-indulgent’ is the correct term for this post but nevertheless, I will let, you, the reader decide. One thing I find really, really, irksome at interview is when the Interviewer talks about themselves in glowing terms.

This occurred recently at interview and to be honest, it makes me really uncomfortable. The Interviewer, told me about his background, which is fair enough, but seemed to be couched in ‘aren’t I wonderful’ terms. It didn’t get any better; he told me that he had passed some professional examinations but again, in ‘aren’t I wonderful’ terms. How an earth am I supposed to react to this? Say ‘yep. you are great! ‘Congratulations?’

And there was more. When discussing working hours, the contractual hours were the standard 9 to 5, 35 hour week. However, the Interviewer commented ‘I’m always in by 7, 7.30 and out by 5’ which equates to a 45 hour week! No room for slackers then! The next gem was the pension scheme. The Interviewer let me know he was paying in his full contribution which was being matched by the firm. What am I suppose to say? ‘Well done’ for being financially prudent?

Another couple of examples while I’m on topic. A Head of Audit was interviewing me and was told me how great he was by writing the Audit Manual and designing the audit methodology. I fancied saying ‘no-one is going to read it’ but bit my tongue. Someone of my experience is only going to give the manual a quick cursory read.

My other example was when I was being interviewed for a transactional processing role. The Interviewer, again, was being self indulgent and commented ‘I’ve put some little controls in place to improve things’. ‘Aren’t you wonderful Mr.Interviewer’. I actually found this a turn-off (if there can be such a thing at interview) and deliberately gave incorrect answers to the subsequent questions to avoid being offered the role.

I’m not sure what to make of all this. Are Interviewers fishing for compliments because they are insecure? Somehow I doubt it. Or are Interviewers trying to feel more superior than the Interviewee? I think the latter is probably the case. Whatever the reason, it makes for an uncomfortable experience, especially when the interview is supposed to be about the candidate.


1. ITauditSecurity - October 7, 2013

Self-indulgent is the perfect word!

I think you’re right–the interviewer is trying to feel more superior, which means they are insecure. I think it’s both.

The question is, why isn’t the interviewer more interested in you, how secure you are, what you know, and what you will bring to the organization?

I’m convinced that most interviewers have no clue what they’re doing (how to interview), don’t know what they want in a new hire, and are surprised when they don’t get a good fit once they hire the person.

Poor interviews waste your time and the interviewer’s time. When you find a poor interviewer, a poor company is usually behind them. Run!

I’ve cataloged my experience in my interviewing IT auditors series. Sad but true.

2. ITauditSecurity - October 7, 2013

p.s. In your tags, you can just use interviews, bad, awkward. You dont’ need to repeat the word ‘interview’ in your tags.

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