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September 16, 2012

WorkWise BlogTip: Going off-script can spell trouble

During interviews job seekers want to answer questions from employers with specifics. However, Scott Brent, himself a skilled interviewee in the rigorous pharmaceutical industry, encountered a woman who seemed to do well in the interview until she took the lead explaining why she’d been absent from her current employer for three weeks.

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During interviews job seekers want to answer questions from employers with specifics.

However, Scott Brent, himself a skilled interviewee in the rigorous pharmaceutical industry, encountered a woman who seemed to do well in the interview until she took the lead explaining why she’d been absent from her current employer for three weeks.

The woman strode in confidently and had a good handshake. Her answers to questions made her seem to be qualified.

“She had a good persona,” Brent says. Then he asked about her current job.

“Like most people,” he remarks, “she ran out of whatever coaching she’d been given and gave up too much information,” beginning with mentioning a three-week absence, which he silently attributed to a vacation.

“I was glad she did it with her current company instead of mine,” Brent comments.

He kept listening, not asking any questions, until she explained she’d had some elective surgery followed by pain that kept her from working. Then she told him the part of the anatomy that received the surgery. Certain this was a joke, he ended the interview.

Turns out it wasn’t.

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