Sometimes people just walk into minefields … and don’t even know it! I guess there is a good lesson there for all of us.
The latest incident involved somebody I was interviewing who arrived somewhat unprepared, which was a bad start. On their resume was the statement Excellent Time management skills, which of course caught my attention. Anyone that knows me also knows that time management is one of my areas of interest, and indeed I have written plenty of blog entries on the subject.
The art of interviewing is to really understand what is beneath the words on paper, and that is best achieved by asking questions and getting the person talking. This can be a series of more pointed questions as you get deeper into the subject. In this case it took three questions … all with very short answers.
So … do you have specific time management techniques you use? No, I’m just a productive person and do what it takes to get the job done.
I see … have you had any time management training? No.
Have you read any time management books? No.
At this point, after establishing that the candidate had not even researched our website before the interview I was pretty sure this wasn’t going to work. I wrote about the need for preparation for job interviews just a couple of days ago.
The point is that if you are going to make claims about a skill, expertise or any other experience then you had better be able to back it up … because some day you will be talking to someone who knows a bit about it!
A CareerBuilder survey some time ago suggested that perhaps as many as 57% of resumes contain significant lies. This young man wasn’t lying, just trying to make himself look good … but shot himself in the foot!
IF he had done any research he might have seen that I write a blog and a quick search would have revealed a lot of content about time management. My most recent blog entry on the subject was called a Good Time Management Approach written just a few weeks ago on February 19th.
A week or so before that I referenced David Allen’s Getting Things Done (GTD) methodology in my blog entry about harnessing productivity.
I have written a blog entry with Time Management Tips, I have even highlighted some of my own Time Management Hiccups and I have written many blog entries about goals and how they can help you to be successful.
When you are passionate on a subject and somebody casually suggests that they are an expert on it, they are really setting themselves up for scrutiny. I have no problem with people admitting they don’t know a subject or are willing to learn. I am huge believer in lifelong learning … somehow I think other people subscribe to the BS approach to advancement, and it always catches up with you eventually!