What cannot be hidden during conversation – Lesson 2, by Mr. F.

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Everybody lies. Recruitment of people and their CVs prove that this motto of Izmałkowa Consulting is the only truth found among all those lies. Psychological studies have shown that people often lie in their CVs because they are convinced that this is expected of them.

Job seekers assume that the employer is going to consider that at least 40% of the info that they provide is a lie so they make a simple calculation that tells them that it would be downright stupid to tell the truth. I know that’s the way things are because detecting lies is my job. Another responsibility my job carries is love, or at least a fondness for human nature. In order to protect my passion towards what I do I decided to stay away from recruitment carried out in my own company. I simply don’t have enough patience and I’m unable to stop asking myself – ‘how can people lie through their teeth like that?’…

– a person with “excellent” English was unable to understand DOVE’s advertisement

– a candidate for the position related to social media in Izmałkowa Consulting was supposedly in love with what we do and how we write yet had never read our company’s blog (researched  from the inside). “I was a little busy recently” was what she replied when there was no space left for any more lies.

– a potential assistant with “extraordinary organizational and planning skills” didn’t know a single plane ticket booking website and was convinced that tickets for Polish Railways are bought almost exclusively at train stations (“I’m certain they can be bought online as well, but I’m not sure if it’s safe”)

The most important principle that my teacher shared with me was: “IF YOU DON’T KNOW WHAT TO DO AND HOW TO DO IT – ASK SOMEONE WHO DOES THAT TASK VERY WELL”. I don’t believe in tests. I also didn’t want to ask an HR professional. To find the answer, I decided to look for somebody who’s in a similar situation: a similar branch that encounters a similar amount of lies – advertising. As the old saying goes, “When the student is ready, the teacher will come”. I was ready, I met him, I asked him and I learned something.

Mr. F. has been virtually a recruitment machine the last year. During our meetings, whenever I would ask him about what he had been doing that day he would answer, “I had a few recruitment interviews”. He recruits some of the most creative people around the world. I asked him how often he is wrong. He told me that almost never. Taking into account his unyielding attitude towards work AND DEFINITE LACK OF PATIENCE FOR EVERYTHING IMPERFECT – the interviews he conducts are extremely thorough.

“My method is very simple – a little time consuming, but relatively infallible. I ALWAYS carry out two interviews.”

  1. During the first one I don’t even look into their portfolios or read their CVs. I trust that anyone who provided me with them made sure that these people are worth talking to. I don’t read this stuff or even look through it, don’t google these people, check their Facebook profiles or do any research about them – because I DON’T WANT TO KNOW ANYTHING ABOUT THEIR PAST. It doesn’t matter what they did before. What’s important is what they’re doing now and what they’ll be able to do in the future.”

So what’s the point of having such a conversation?

-I want to get to know them, to feel them. The first interview is a conversation between two people, between two human beings. I approach them and we talk. I learn more from how they simply talk to me about themselves. I ask them questions that allow me to learn what they like to talk about, what tires them, what stresses them and makes them nervous and in which moments they become agitated or let their emotions get hold of them. I want to know what makes them excited and what they find repulsive. I listen to the words they use and how they describe reality. And then I can sense whether I’m going to get along with that person or not and whether we have the energy that is going to allow us to work together.

And when are you certain that this energy is not there?

What is most important to me is to see LIFE. When I see no life in their eyes, no passion or fascinations, when I see a robot looking at me, caring only about money and prestige – this is when I know that we won’t get along (even if they are the most talented person in the world with plenty of practice and 100 awards received in Cannes). I don’t want any robots on my team. I want somebody who is going to change the world together with me, and in order for that to happen I need to see life and passion in their eyes. Sometimes I don’t see any life behind their eyes. I just see a robot. And I want a HUMAN, not a robot.

  1. Second interview – this is the one I prepare myself for. I look through their portfolio and then we can talk specifics. I ask them questions. How? What for? Why? What is the idea behind this? What would you change? What are you proud of? Why did you choose that particular job? Do you have questions that you always ask and that are crucial to you? Why do you think that you should work on my team?

The answer to that one is crucial. There has to be energy. There has to be talent. And there HAS TO be appropriate motivation. If somebody is going to lie or answer using empty phrases they are not going to convince me. So they have no choice – they can either take the risk and tell the truth or play it safe and lose for sure.

Everyone who I work with, for whom I work, who I employ and who employ me – I LIKE all of them. It’s possible that among them there are people who have more knowledge, have better organization skills or are more creative. But the fact that I have my flow makes me love Mondays, not complain when having to work on the beach, enjoy my work and have some spare energy even when I feel I’m going to collapse in a second.

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