Today was a nostalgic reenaction of my recruiting days at Accenture. I participated in the Miami University training of mock interviewers and today was the first actual day of interviewing. It was no surprise to me that Accenture has progressed in their interviewing methodology and I read the Accenture Workbook on Case Interviewing as a guide to maybe incorporating that into the mock interviewing process. Until that happens, I will just use the old tried and true behavioral interviewing technique that I used twelve years ago.
But I can't resist blogging my top (of many) recruiting memories at Accenture. Toward the end of my career, I had the opportunity to recruit at Miami University with the Accenture team, headed by S.W. The recruiting team came from various offices and stayed at Miami for the multiple days. Naturally the interviewing team would debrief over food and drinks for the evening and, naturally, there would be stories about the recruits that were screened. S.W., that evening talked about a particular recruit, that during her interview was "sweating like a pig". This story and many others were filled with "you wouldn't believe what happened in my interview ......"
Well about 2-3 weeks later, I was in my office (the rare time I was in town) and my style when in office was to directly answer my line (vs have my secretary screen all my calls). When I answered my phone that morning, the voice on the on the line was unfamiliar. Here is the memory I have of the conversation [with my thoughts in red]:
"Hello, this is XX and my dad is the dentist of Al Cambridge [Al was the previous Managing Partner of the Cincinnati Office - and one of my key mentors - this name dropping and connection is a stretch but I'm willing to listen for a few more seconds].
"I will be graduating from Miami and wanted to determine if I could get an office visit." [This is an easy answer - if you missed the screening at Miami you're probably out of luck].
"OK XX, we were on campus just a few of weeks ago - did you miss us?"
"No I was there, and didn't get a Office visit invitation" [OK - I give you credit for calling again and name dropping Al Cambridge, but I'll just let him know he is out of luck - maybe he can try to plead his case to Human Resources].
"Tell me what happened on the Campus interview" [I might as well hear his plea before giving him the bad news].
"Well I just had a bad day" [and ..........] "Because I was profusely sweating during the interview" [a big smile comes to my face .... I can't believe it .... I'm talking to the SLAP guy (Sweating like a Pig) ! ]
"OK XX, tell me alittle about yourself........" [The conversation continues but after that forthright statement, I was convinced I would figure a way to get him an office visit and maybe be cantankerous enough to schedule part of the day with S.W.]
So now the end of the story - XX did get the office visit and we hired him. That was over 13 years ago and he still is at Accenture - and probably an executive and recuiting new graduates (like I did) on campus.
Second chances do happen - but it takes character to make them happen!