The Three “C’s” of Interviewing

I was talking to someone about interviewing. I told him I have found that interviewing is easy to do poorly and very hard to do well. Like any skill, it requires training and practice to refine and improve, yet few companies invest much time in developing interview skills. It’s ironic how little time is spent developing a skill that directly impacts the quality of hires a company makes. It’s like expecting an amateur to do a good job removing your appendix without giving him any training.

One of the all-time classic interviews, from the movie Office Space

As I thought more about interviewing, I recalled a great bit of wisdom I once heard on the subject of interviewing, and I pass it along here.

It is a rule to keep in mind when you’re interviewing a candidate. There are times when, as an interviewer, you’re distracted. You believe you have more important things to do (many times an interviewer is interviewing candidates who will end up in another organization if they’re hired at all).  Or maybe you decide early in the interview that this candidate is a poor fit, and spend the rest of the interview nodding your head and trying to look interested. Or you pretend to be a hard-ass to see how they’ll react to difficult personalities. Or you got to the interview late and plan to leave early.

Whatever the case, there are interviews where we don’t put our best foot forward. It is at those moments that it is best to remember the Three C’s: Every person you interview in your career is a future….

Colleague

Customer

Competitor

In all three cases, you want them to remember you, and your company, in the best possible light.

Interviewing takes preparation and focus. It is easy to get lazy. At those moments, it might help you to remember the three C’s.

Good luck!

P.S. For past posts on interviewing, go here and here.