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Irritating Interviews October 17, 2013

Posted by Audit Monkey in The Joy & Pain of Internal Audit, Working Life in Britain.
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I recently commented on self-indulgent interviewers; you know the type, those who just brag about themselves and forget the candidate’s ‘feelings’, if there is such a thing. There is another item which grates at interview is when the interviewer starts talking in glowing terms about a particular member of staff. This has occurred on a couple of occasions during my illustrious career.

The first memorable occasion was when I interviewed at a FTSE 100 firm. During the interview, the Head of Audit talked in glowing terms about a high-flying auditor who was destined for, (wait for it) higher things. When I met the proteg√© on my first day, I was expecting to meet a really switched on, dapper and engaging person but imagine my surprise when a badly dressed, dandruff ridden waif of a man turned up. On my induction day as my mentor (I use the term loosely), mumbled his way through the audit methodology, protocols, etc. For any item which couldn’t be addressed, this would be resolved ‘in due course’. This was repeated ad nauseam throughout the day. Needless to say, I was underwhelmed.

The second occasion was more recent. The Interviewer was running through members of the team and mentioned that ‘John’ had worked for the Big 4 and was ‘exceptional’, a ‘high-flyer’. Oh I see. How am I supposed to react to this? Should I say ‘Yeah, that’s great’ and start doing high fives? What about my ambitions and career aspirations? Would I have to step aside so ‘John’ can progress? Am I never to progress myself?

In truth, it made me feel inferior and not up to the job. I think Interviewers often don’t realise what they are saying and the effect on the candidate. Nevermind, I think we will address this induced negative feelings in due course.


1. ITauditSecurity - November 8, 2013

I”d ask, “Really, what do you like about him?” or “What does he bring to the department that’s unique?””

That will give you some insight on what the interviewer feels is valuable at that company, or if you really don’t care, at least it gives you a decent response that sounds authentic.

2. Audit Monkey - November 8, 2013

The point here is if the Interviewer already thinks they have unassailable individuals in their team, what hope is there for the candidate?!!

ITauditSecurity - November 8, 2013

Then why are they interviewing?

3. Audit Monkey - November 10, 2013

Quite – they didn’t need me!

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