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VOL. 43 | NO. 43 | Friday, October 25, 2019

How can you interview someone without their resume?

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If you’ve interviewed lately, you know the first step of a job interview is a phone screen. After you apply for a job, a recruiter from the company will reach out to you and set up a time to meet.

In the phone screen, the recruiter will ask predictable questions. “Tell me about yourself,” they’ll ask before pivoting to “Why are you interested in the job” and “Why are you looking for a job?”

They might also ask how you heard about the job or how much expertise you have in a certain area. And, they’ll ask how much money you want. Pretty standard stuff.

Now, here’s a question people are hearing lately that should be shocking: “After this call, can you email me a copy of your resume?” Read that again. “After this call, can you email me a copy of your resume?”

Some recruiters are actually interviewing job applicants without having a copy of their resume. They aren’t downloading it ahead of time from the application. They are going into an interview cold, without knowing anything about the candidate.

They’re asking random questions. They are completely and totally unprepared. And that is how they’re making important hiring decisions for the company.

As a candidate, I suppose you might want to start off an interview by checking to see that the recruiter has a copy of your resume. However, this question really seems like it might introduce an odd dynamic to the conversation.

HR leaders, if you are reading this, please take note. This is a genuine problem. I’ve observed many examples of this lately.

You want to hire the best people. And, you certainly don’t want to waste a candidate’s time. After all, candidates study for interviews. They memorize your job description. They scour the internet to learn about your company. They practice their answers to common interview questions. They prepare their own questions. And, often, they ask friends and family for help.

This is a huge effort to go through for a recruiter to show up unprepared.

If you’re looking for a job, I’m not sure how you get past this problem. Honestly, the lack of accountability baffles me.

And, companies are using these folks as the gatekeepers. Sure, many recruiters are helpful. But, even one absent-minded recruiter can cause problems with an entire hiring process.

Companies should hold themselves to the same standards they apply to candidates. It’s time to show up on time and prepared for our interviews.

If we don’t have something we need in order to participate in an interview, we should ask for that piece of information before the interview begins. It’s step one.

Angela Copeland, a career expert and founder of Copeland Coaching, can be reached at copelandcoaching.com.

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