Lindsay Olson

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Common Courtesy and Bathroom Breaks...

115870149 585241861d Common Courtesy and Bathroom Breaks...

About once a month, I check out the Google Analytics statistics for this blog. It's always a mixture of entertainment and enlightenment. As I was combing through the keywords section, I noticed a strange pattern. Several people who landed here searched "no bathroom break" or "bathroom break during an interview."

I don't know the actual story behind these visitors attempts to find information about bathroom breaks and interviews, but I assume these hits came from job seekers who have fallen victim to the etiquette oblivious interviewer. Sadly, it happens more often than it should as this blog reader described in a recent experience

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Hiring Managers: I'm concerned. Let's treat candidates the same way we would if we were to invite them to our homes. If you keep a candidate sitting in a conference room for a marathon interview, offer a restroom break. It's common courtesy and a small, but important detail that determines how a candidate perceives your company and your overall employer brand.

I see how this can happen. Each interviewer has 30 minutes to an hour with the candidate and when the interviewer's time is up, he's back to work and on to other priorities. The next person comes in and starts with their business. And so on...

My suggestion: Assign one person on the team the responsibility of taking care of the candidate. This person is the first and the last person the candidate will see on interview day. This one person walk the candidate through the process, making sure that everything runs smoothly, the interviews start on time, and proper attention and courtesy is extended to the candidate.

Photo credit: Mass Distraction
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2 Comments - Add yours!

Charles (June 12th, 2009)

Almost every multiple interview that I have been on has had someone in charge of taking me from one person to the next or just making sure that every interviewer shows up on time.

One place I worked I was in charge of giving potential employees the software tests. When HR escorted them to my office I would take them to the testing room, pointing out the restroom and beverage center which were along the same hall as the testing room. I explained that the test was an hour and that if they wanted to use the restroom they could so so now before starting the test or if they needed a restroom break duirng the test I would “stop the clock.” After they were all settled, I would make sure that I gave them a slip of paper with my name and extension with the instructions that they should call me if they needed anything. I also explained that I would stop by at the 30-minute mark and then 10 minutes before the test was over to make sure they were doing okay.

I couldn’t imagine doing it any other way becasue as you say it is “common courtesy.”

Lindsay Olson » Interviewing Rules a Hiring Manager Should Never Break (July 13th, 2009)

[...] a Jackass. I’ve too heard my fair share of stories from candidates on the job search. Lack of common courtesy and outrageous expectations seem to be recurring themes these days. The interviewee-interviewer [...]

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