New Blog Series- “The Other Side of The Desk”

June 26, 2009

Interviews are the gateway to opportunity. Whether it is for the purpose of employment, education, or social activities, interviews provide a framework for information exchange, skill validation, and ethics.

All job interviews have two different components: the employer and the candidate. The main reason for employers to begin interviewing is due to the fact that they have an organizational need that they have to address. The main reason that candidates decide to interview, is that they believe that they will gain some kind of benefit by joining the employer. Depending on the candidate’s particular motivation, this could include money, responsibility, skill development, career advancement, quality of life, or a number of other things.

Upon conclusion of the interview, there are four possible outcomes, they are as follows:

Both the employer and candidate like each other.
The employer likes the candidate, but the candidate does not like the employer.
The candidate likes the employer, but the employer does not like the candidate.
Both the candidate and employer do not like each other.

When both parties agree upon the outcome, the situation is comfortable. However, when the parties leave the meetings with different impressions, people’s feelings begin to get hurt. That is when things become difficult and generally mishandled.

After thirteen years of recruiting information security professionals, I have reached the conclusion that the recruitment process itself is very delicate. The outcome of the interview process can have a significant effect on the candidate’s career and the organization’s success. There is a good deal of pressure, that can cause the process to become emotionally charged. It has become clear to me that many things have to go right during this process, to insure successful recruitment. It is possible that only one negative interaction, can undo all of these positives.

It is a true shame when opportunity is lost because of process, rather than skill.

I am astounded by the general disconnect that come from both sides of the interview process. Whether it originates from the candidate, or the employer, I have been able to witness some of the most inconsiderate forms of human behavior, in my role as a recruiter. I have seen far too many opportunities squandered due to poor communication, lack of professional courtesy, and the absence of common sense.

In response to this, I am going to begin to share some of my experiences from my time as a recruiter in this industry with both successful and unsuccessful recruitment processes. I believe that in taking some of the mystery away from the interview process itself, and sharing the different perspectives of both the employer and the candidate, we will be able to help people become more successful interviewers and team builders. I also hope that if we can help create an environment where Information Security professionals can learn from their interview failures, communicate better during this process, and can better prepare themselves for future interviews.

I promise a minimum of one blog entry a month under this title and on this subject. All of the entries will be anonymous and based on my collective experiences, not just one particular recruitment situation. If you have a personal story that you would like to share (as a candidate or an employer), questions to ask, or something you would like for me to comment on, please send them to

Posted by lee | Filed Under "The Other Side of The Desk", Interviewing, Uncategorized 


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