Many of us have interviewed the person who wanted us to feel sorry for them. They wanted to use this line of sympathy as a reason to be hired.
Here are a few examples:
- “I have this pretty serious medical condition and I’m not really sure how things are going to turn out.”
- “I used to be very capable and could handle just about anything. But in the last year or so, I feel I’ve lost my drive and my enthusiasm. Gosh, I sure hope I get it back”
- “My dad passed away a few months ago and, well, frankly, I’m still very broken up about it.”
- “At the end of last year, my wife lost her job. Since then, we’ve pretty much been living off credit cards. Which, I’m sure you know, is not a great way to live these days. I gotta tell you, ‘I really, REALLY need this job.'”
- “My wife just had twins. So that makes three kids. We were having a tough time raising just the one, so this is going to be a major challenge for us.”
And there are others where this came from. The common denominator of course is the candidate wants us to feel sorry for them and they believe this will enhance their chances of getting hired.
What do you think about this approach?
On the one hand, there’s absolutely nothing wrong with lending a hand and helping someone out.
But the other side of that coin is the viability of your business. Do you want to hire someone who presents themselves as a victim? I realize the word “victim” can be seen as pretty harsh. Here’s a definition of victim:
someone who suffers because of something bad that happens or because of an illness
The candidate who wants you to hire them because of what they can do for you and your business is essentially the flip side of the candidate who wants you to hire them because of what you can do to help them out.
It’s really up to you on this one. If Sally’s in a tough spot, it’s understandable that you feel that providing her a job will help her out of that tough spot. Along with that, you envision Sally becoming a real asset for you. And because you offered her the job when she was in rough shape, you figure she’s going to be very loyal to you down the road.
That all makes sense.
Just realize Sally may not come out of it. “Being a victim” may be a long term life choice for Sally and that will not spell success for your business.
Either way, it’s important to have clarity on what kind of candidate you have in front of you. Our employee testing service will help you bring that clarity.
To see how our employee test can help you bring better people on board watch this three minute video.
If you have ever interviewed someone and later discovered a "different" person is working for you, check out our new book How To Hire The Right People.