Graduates: The Interview - PAUL HERSLEY, HUMAN RESOURCE MANAGER, INTERNET COMPANY

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The Independent Culture
The job: Web development position requiring excellent communication skills. The applicant would be required to liaise with clients

THE THIRD person I interviewed for the position was a recent post graduate with a masters in computer science. I was somewhat bemused when he arrived wearing a dinner jacket with a bow tie. I thought this was some kind of joke but he had never been for an interview before so I gave him the benefit of the doubt. (This was not the strangest entrance I have seen - once a candidate turned up for an interview with his dog.)

I think it is important to make prospective employees feel at ease so they behave naturally and give honest answers. After the strange start, it quickly became clear that he was very keen on working with computers. This was encouraging because we were looking for a person with a passion for the job who also takes an outside interest in their work. We were looking for someone who would settle down quickly within the company because we work in a close-knit environment where it is essential that employees are personable.

Due to the candidate having limited practical experience, we had to to set up a practical test. Sometimes at interview applicants say they have no trouble with any job skills required. In the past, it has transpired on their first day that they have blatantly lied about their skills.

However, this candidate lived up to his CV and his sheer enthusiasm put him head and shoulders above the other applicants. I offered him the job.

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