Sign Language – Don’t Lie on Job Applications
I reviewed several resumes for an open admin position when I noticed one candidate listed a qualification: “Fluent in American Sign Language.” Although it had no relevance to the job, it caught my attention as I had taken several courses in ASL many years earlier. ASL is a very expressive language which gives insight into the communicator’s personality, so I decided it would be both fun and instructional to conduct at least part of the interview in Sign Language. I prepared. When the day of the interview arrived, I entered the conference room, sat down at the table with the smiling applicant and began signing: “Hi. How are you? Please tell me how you came to learn ASL.” Her changing facial expression answered for her. She had no idea what I was “saying,” and she was no longer feeling good about herself. She admitted that she had never learned sign language and had not taken a single course, but only had a college roommate who had. Her “fluency” was limited to about five words – which she declined to repeat as they were not fit for public consumption. The interview went downhill from there and concluded in only five minutes. A few days later the applicant wrote an email to the company’s president saying that we had gotten off to a poor start and asked for a second interview. The president had been briefed on the failed interview and declined a second opportunity, adding that no job offer would be extended. He said the first interview was obviously a “bad sign” going forward.
Studies show that up to 80% of resumes contain some degree of exaggeration, if not outright fraud. Website www.fakeresume.com provides tips and pointers to resume embellishers. AcuMax wiring assessments provide objective information that can be used to balance the interview process and each AcuMax profile contains a set of interview questions that are tailored to that individual’s profile. How much time do you spend preparing for an interview? The national average for interview prep time is 15 minutes. Shouldn’t we spend more time to take advantage of such an important opportunity?
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