The 5 Second Rule

golf balls

I know within the first 5 seconds of an interview whether or not I'm going to hire someone. I'm not 100% sure if this is a good or a bad thing, but it's a thing I'm seemingly stuck with.

I've tried to change this habit by asking those questions that every interviewer asks. Let's do a quick run down:

1. Where do you see yourself in 5 years? 2. How do you keep yourself organized? 3. Do you work better alone or in teams? 4. What was your day to day like at such and such job? 5. What do you want to achieve in your time here?

The truth is there isn't an answer in the world to these questions that will make me change my mind. Those questions are shit. Granted, I give everyone the same respect they deserve, but in my head I'm feeling bad that there's no chance I want to work with them. I often bring someone else in the interview with me who can offer those important encouraging looks. Then after the interview is over, they immediately say the inevitable, "Yeah, I didn't like them." "Yep, me either." (Side note: I have some world class encouraging look givers at my side. It's incredible how their looks of affirmation can single-handedly carry a bad interview.)

I'll even do a second interview in some cases, even though my decision was already made. Want to come in to present to us, so we can see how well you do in front of people? Doesn't that sound fun? The interview is your presentation. If you can't present yourself in a way makes me want to hire you at the interview, then you probably can't present on a topic you likely don't know much about anyway.

What is my weird criteria that occurs within the first 5 seconds of an interview? Glad you asked. Here's another list:

1. Stand up: There are few things I dislike more than when someone remains sitting when the people there to interview them walks in. Reaching across the table while seated to shake our hands? You're better than that.

2. The Hand Shake: You're trying to interview for a job and you can't properly shake hands and look someone in the eyes? Why did you even come into the office today? I can't comprehend how parents raise children who can't shake someone's hand. It just creases me so much.

3. Likeability. From the first sentence you speak, I know whether or not we'll work well together and whether or not you'll work well with my clients.

4. Dress for the Part. I'm not a suit guy. Well, that is to say I prefer not to wear suits, but will when the situation calls for it. I had not interviewed for a job in like 6 years when I moved back to Dallas. The agency that I had been working at had a strict no suit policy. Therefore, I didn't own a suit. It's true. I was a Sales Director that didn't own a suit. I received a call on Monday to come interview for an agency in Dallas on Tuesday. I quickly got myself to the mall, bought a suit and expedited the tailoring. The interview went well and I got a call on Wednesday wanting me back again on Thursday. Well, shit. Back to the mall, bought another suit, expedited the tailoring and killed the interview. The point is, and you've heard it a thousand times before, dress for the interview.

So, that's it. 5 seconds into the interview and I'll know whether or not I'm going to hire you. Of course, if someone was ever smart enough to find this article before an interview, 5 seconds in asks if they go they got the job and they didn't meet those 4 criteria? I may have to hire for a newly created 5th reason. They've got balls.