Maintaining transparency in a job interview

How do we make it more like glass and less of a brick wall? 

Every interview has the potential to change that person’s life. As the interviewer, fellow human, and representative of our company, transparency in the job interview is part of our responsibility.  We need to be honest about the company, our values, and the work.  We wouldn’t hire someone to come work here that didn’t match our core values, right?  That means we also need to be honest about the work.  We are doing a disservice to the candidate and our company if we are not upfront from the start.

Earning an employee’s trust starts at the interview 

Consider this scenario, an interviewer sells an MSP position by telling the candidate their role consists of a ton of fancy project work. The candidate accepts the role but to their surprise, discovers they are day-in-day-out on the help desk phone queue. The actual role requires being on the front lines, taking calls, and resetting passwords instead, with minimal opportunity to do project work. They are, understandably, immediately unsatisfied in their new position.

From their point of view, the company is, at worse, deceptive, and at best, unclear. The new hire begins looking for work elsewhere before getting in too deep while the MSP is back at the start. In order to maintain transparency in the job interview, the candidate should have been informed of the true expectations. After all, without honesty what are we left with? 

Not everyone is cut out for MSP

Of course, no one wants to reset passwords all day long but let’s be transparent in the interview, that resetting passwords is expected. You can tout the benefits of work at a managed service provider, too. They will get a chance to work every ticket that comes in the door, from firewalls to servers down to breaches and all the latest, greatest, and coolest tech we’ve got.

One of the quotes that I use over and over again in interviews is “MSP: it’s not for everyone.”  It’s true, the MSP lifestyle and line of work aren’t for everyone.  The work is tough, changing from day to day, ticket to ticket, and client to client.  Some days the work is at a breakneck pace.  Is it like that every day? Nope! But speak the truth, especially to MSP newcomers, that some days are hyper-busy.

Not a fit for the role and that’s ok!

When I was still working tickets in the service department at my last MSP, the constant switching of clients and issues was a tech-adrenaline rush of sorts for me.  I loved it.  You must love it if you love providing managed services.  If your candidate likes to set up a network and server environment then set the cruise control, use your judgement to determine that working for an MSP will not be a good fit for that person.  And let’s get it out there now before we hire!

There is no harm in you and the candidate agreeing at the end of an interview that they aren’t a good fit for a position.  It’s happened to me several times.  In which case, I tell the candidate, “this does not mean that you are not smart or that you are not a good tech, it just means that the MSP work probably isn’t a good fit for you.”   The last thing we want to do is to place someone in a role in our company that we know will not like the work.  That is just setting everyone up for failure.  

Why is transparency so important in the job interview?

Why am I so honest? As a seasoned job interviewer, both for Eureka Process’ vScreening and in previous roles for MSPs, I truly believe there is an art to interviewing candidates.  Sure, I can teach the techniques and I can ask the standard interview questions and on and on, but the true joy of conducting an interview is making a human connection with someone in 30 minutes. You read it right, I said joy and interview in the same sentence. 

Contrary to popular belief, I think that you should actually enjoy interviewing your job candidates.  I presume you like people, as you are a service provider. Further, if you’ve screened them properly, then you have an opportunity to talk with a fellow IT person about ‘tech stuff’. As corny as it sounds, I want the candidate to join the company and be happy.

It’s that simple. When you offer transparency in the job interview and their expectations are met, then they will be happy. If they are happy in the company, enjoy the work, and enjoy the people, then they will thrive. Team members thriving in their work environment stand to make the entire company and its culture better.

Want to talk about it more or talk about someone else doing the heavy lifting to screen candidates?  I’d love to chat.  Visit our vScreening page or set up a free consultation with me.