Are you missing great talent by focusing too much on ONLY what is said at an interview?


The look in his eye demonstrated ambition, kindness, compassion, loyalty and a commitment to creating a great life in Canada.

""Sir, I don't know how your country works,"" he said to the employer with an earnest voice. ""This is the first time that I am meeting with an employer. If you give me the opportunity, I promise you that I will work hard for you. I just need one chance to prove myself.""

Suhil had just arrived in Canada. With no job search training for the Canadian market, all he knew was how to express himself from his heart and to talk about his previous experience.

The employer looked at his rhuberic. This young man had not answered any of the questions as was expected. He kept on saying how much of a hard worker he was and explained how much impact he had made in his country, with his previous employer. It was a different country. It was not Canada. The way of the land is different. The culture is different. The way that language is used is different. The way that interview questions are asked is different. The gap in differences seemed so wide that he wondered how long it would take this new Canadian to learn the rules of the organization and the country.

Suhil was not chosen for the position. He felt disappointed and was not sure what he had done wrong.

Later, I found the courage to ask the employer directly: ""Why didn't you hire him?""

The employer replied: ""I wish I could. I know that he will do a good job if given the chance. But he did not answer the questions. He did not talk about the things which I wanted to hear. I cannot justify my reasons for hiring him.""

I shook my head. Suhil did not have any interview training yet. I know that we will help him to get better at interviewing skills. However, watching the interaction between him and the employer was painful. When I think of the many talented people who are walking around this city, looking for an opportunity and the number of jobs which are going unfilled every day, I feel so sorry that employers are missing such great talent.

Most often, newcomers will give back to organizations much more than expected. We miss great talent. We are so fixed on listening to a set of pre-determined answers, that we lose the most important qualities / skills a human being can bring to the job - commitment, willingness to learn, integrity, loyalty and sincerity.

Have you had such an experience?

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