Challenges when recruiting testers – number 6

Moving on to number 6 on my list of recruitment challenges is………….arrogance.

This might seem a strange thing to add, so bear with me whilst I explain.

A problem I find with candidates is to do with attitude, and it can come across just as much on the phone as it does in a face to face interview.

There is a fine line between explaining what someone has been doing in various projects and the contribution they made, and coming across as though they personally ran the whole test team and came up with every innovation ever implemented! A number of candidates I have spoken to think very highly of their abilities – which in itself not an issue, but if they can’t back up their opinion with cold hard facts, then perhaps this opinion is somewhat misplaced.

Luckily I do not come across too many candidates who speak ill of their current or previous employers (it’s a piece of advice that you can find within 5 seconds of searching for Interview Tips on the internet!), but I really do think that having a more humble attitude during interviews would not harm candidates who are over confident.

A side effect of this sort of attitude is the impression that I (as an interviewer) am lucky that they should deign to come to the interview, and quite frankly the questions are boring and beneath them. Some candidates are very easy to read – it’s all in the body language. 

Of course there is always the extreme example – there was a candidate who after every question I asked him, said ‘That’s a good question’, and then replied in a patronising way. That’s not the attitude I need in my team!

My advice to candidates is this: do not to make the interviewer feel like they are pulling teeth because you don’t give enough detail in your answers, and do not make it sound like you can single handedly save the testing world. Be realistic about what you can do/have done, have a little humility – there are times in business when it is needed, and if you can show it in an interview, it shows a depth of character to the interviewer and is a point in your favour.

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