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AUDIO: Is a Bad Interview the Sign of a Bad Employee?

by Greg Yates | Breakthrough Leadership

Iwas busy and didn’t want to be interrupted when Steve, our HR director, knocked on my door. “I’d really like you to sit in on this interview”, he apologized. “I think Sandy is just what we’re looking for.”

I admit it, I had a bad attitude. I walked into the room and things got worse. The moment Sandy started talking, her voice reminded me of someone I didn’t want to remember, then there was her personality. When I tried to engage her, our eyes never met.

She was reserved, I was assertive.

Her answers seemed tentative and I left the room with a bad impression. Steve lingered in conversation with Sandy but I couldn’t imagine how I could work with her.

When her employment package hit my desk for approval I called Steve to my office. After beating up the issue, I conceded. Steve saw something I didn’t.

The reality is that Steve asked questions I didn’t ask and was tuned in to values, beliefs and character while I was content to get a typical “first impression” and let it go at that.

Thankfully those were the early days I call my “egotistical leadership phase”. My definition of the perfect employee meant they would be just like me.

The truth is, if you want to see someone at their highest stress level, easily tripped up by their greatest paranoia, with heightened fear lurking in every corner, that’s called an interview. Just ask anyone about the sense of overwhelming relief when they leave. Some people absolutely panic.

There is nothing inherently REAL about an interview unless you know what you’re looking for.

Even the worst interview can uncover the values, beliefs and passions of an individual if you’re willing to look beyond the variety of shields that present themselves in these awkward moments.

You may not see their relaxed personality for a while in their new environment but the things that matter most, the clues an experienced Breakthrough Leader can uncover, will still come through.

Even when an interview seems to go bad, it’s important to remember what matters.

Look for the existence of:

  • shared values
  • beliefs
  • And, passion that fits with your organization’s Definition of Success.

If they exist, even that bad interview can yield a fabulous teammate. Sometimes you just can’t judge a book by its cover.

That’s Breakthrough Leadership


About Greg

Greg Yates has been a Chicago area businessman for over 30 years. He’s the author of the book, "Broken - How Being Broken Unlocked The Greatest Success of My Life". He has simultaneously owned 14 different businesses in a variety of industries; including real estate, manufacturing, payroll, and technology. Greg has also been an investor and a board member. He attended Olivet Nazarene University. He has a passion for flying. He’s had a pilot’s license for over 30 years and owned a variety of airplanes. Greg and his wife Vicki have been married over 37 years. They have a son, a daughter and seven grandchildren.

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