Doug Burns tells of an unusual company with an unusual interviewing technique that reminded me of some interviewing anecdotes.

After one year in IT, I had money in my pocket, no more studies and I was keen, enthusiastic and motivated. Consequently, I was invited on the ‘milk round’ to interview prospective graduates in Scotland. Flying in an aeroplane, staying in a posh hotel, eating food, drinking beer and not having to pay for any of it motivated me even more.

So I painted a glowing picture of our company to everyone I met. Even people I wasn’t interviewing like the hotel receptionist. I couldn’t wait to tell the nervous undergraduates, in their ill fitting suits, about the summer barbecque with as much free food and alcohol as you could consume with transport laid on. Nor could I wait to tell them about the Christmas dinner dance at a top notch London hotel with partners invited, a high quality 5 course meal, cabaret, disco, and, again, as much free alcohol as you wanted.

A year later, I was pleasantly surprised to see a familiar Scottish face turn up for his induction after his successful application. He was also pleased, enthusiastic and motivated. Well he was. Until, two weeks later, I had to break the news that this years summer barbecque was cancelled due to ‘budgetary constraints’. With the aid of counselling, he managed to get over that bombshell until, three months later, I had to break the tragic news that the Christmas dinner dance was also cancelled due to ‘adverse market conditions and poor company performance in Q3/Q4’.