The job interview, the unhelpful receptionist and the missing pen

taskmasterIf you’re hiring, one of the things you’re probably looking for in a potential employee is the ability to handle the pressure of an unforeseen – yet not unforeseeable – situation.


Honesty is another virtuous trait.


If you’re looking to hire, here’s a little job interview trick Old Taskmaster first came across some years ago.


Basically, when the interviewee turns up at your reception, give them a form to fill out. Just a few basic questions – including how well they handle pressure and unexpected situations.


Now, here’s the catch: When they’re given the form, the receptionist realises he or she doesn’t have a pen on them, and there are no pens in the reception. Further, the receptionist is on an important call right at the moment and is too busy to fetch a pen from inside the office.


How a potential employee reacts in this situation will give you a fascinating insight into the person you’re about to hire.


If they’re well organised, they will know to take a pen along with them to a job interview. After all, this is not an unforeseeable event.


Failing this, you’re interviewee has a few options.


If they’re a ‘people person’, they could ask other people walking through the reception – possibly a staff member – if they have a pen on them.


They could just sit around and wait for the receptionist to end the important call – eventually becoming agitated at the receptionist for not prioritising finding the pen over the important phone call.


Alternatively, the interviewee could pop out to that newsagency or convenience store on the corner – at the risk of being late for their job interview.


In the worst case scenario, after a brief moment of panic, the interviewee might just leave, never to be seen or heard from again.


Whatever their reaction, you get a good insight into their personality. Better still, you can compare the interviewee’s answer to the question “How well do you cope with unforeseen circumstances while you’re under pressure?” with how well they actually cope with unforeseen circumstances while under pressure.


So, are you hiring? If so, get a short questionnaire ready – and make sure you hide those pens!


Get it done – today!


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