A few weeks ago I discussed a survey in which hiring managers were asked about the most-common, and the most-outrageous, mistakes made by job applicants during interviews. (Click here to read the original post.)
One reader shared the following story about a job seeker who lost out on a job because of pre-employment misconduct following his interview. The applicant was professional and well-behaved during the interview process. But things went south after he received a conditional offer of employment (pursuant to the ADA) and was sent to undergo an off-site medical evaluation (as all persons being hired for this position were required to do). Upon arrival, the job seeker became belligerent and threatening to the medical staff. Things were so bad, in fact, that the doctor refused to examine him, instructed him to leave the premises, and called the police. Needless to say, the conditional offer of employment was withdrawn.
While an extreme example, this story shows how some applicants may be able to hide their true stripes during the formal interview process. So you need to make sure your hiring process is designed to weed out persons who would not be a good fit for your organization. I know of several employers who swear that adding one simple step to the applicant screening process has worked wonders for them. What do they do? After a job interview, HR or the hiring manager solicits information from the receptionist to get her assessment of the candidate. If the applicant was rude, disrespectful, condescending, or otherwise unpleasant to the receptionist, then it's a safe bet the applicant is not the type of person they want to work for them.
Given the cost of making a bad hire (see prior post), consider whether there are things you can do to improve your applicant screening process.