Outside interests on resumes, interviews

Subject: Outside interests on resumes, interviews
From: "M. Hunter-Kilmer" <mhunterk -at- BNA -dot- COM>
Date: Mon, 18 May 1998 11:26:14 -0500

Lisa Comeau <COMEAUL -at- CSA -dot- CA> wrote:
> I know of at least 5 companies that throw away resumes that don't
> show any outside interests. (Dumb? Sure=21 You can throw away the
> best candidate because they don't mention their love of lawn
> bowling, but some places work that way...)

> That's why research into the organization and their hiring practices
> can really help you.

I see your point, but how on earth could you research to that degree
unless you had a friend on the inside of the company?

Janice Gelb <janiceg -at- MARVIN -dot- ENG -dot- SUN -dot- COM> wrote:
> Judging from the messages on this issue, I guess I'm the only person
> who thinks these don't belong on a resume and could easily backfire.
> True that if you and the interviewer have something in common it
> makes the interview more cosy. But what if the interviewer thinks
> that your outside interests are a spectacularly stupid way to spend
> time? Or they push some ideological button? My preference would be
> to stick to business interests and leave the social aspect to after
> you get the job and are getting to know your co-workers.

Sometimes, of course, one combines one's interests -- by writing
articles for an association newsletter, for instance. Janice (and
others), I agree that you shouldn't mention anything that could turn
an interviewer against you, but you should definitely mention outside
activities that have a bearing on the job for which you're applying.
In the case I mentioned above, I'd say that I'd written articles for a
national organization's newsletter. I wouldn't say what the
organization was unless I was applying for a job in a company that I
felt would be sympathetic.

Barry Kieffer <barry -dot- kieffer -at- EXGATE -dot- TEK -dot- COM> wrote:
> I am a firm believer in getting a few employees together and taking
> the interviewee to lunch.

> During the hour-and-a-half lunch, you can learn a lot about each
> other.

> The person may not look that good on paper, and interview really
> nervously. But during lunch you and your group of employees find
> out that this person is sincere, and fun to be around. You just
> might take the chance and hire this person (on a hunch).


> This person may look great on paper, and interview good. During
> lunch the person starts talking like a raciest/sexist/militant/nut
> case. Tell me, do you really want this person around all day long?

Yeah, you can learn a lot, but maybe not enough and maybe the wrong
stuff. For example, you can take my husband out to lunch, and he'll
give a terrible impression. He's very introverted and shy. He'd be
terrible in an office. But he can write rings around lots of people,
and he could do beautifully as a freelance writer of occasional pieces
if you'd let him do it outside the office.

I know a guy on our help desk who is amazingly opinionated and
offensive to just about everybody. Dunno if he's a racist, but he's a
sexist and has all kinds of ideas I find really nuts. He'd lunch
really badly. But his technical knowledge is superb and he's terrific
at providing on-telephone support.

It just depends on what you want, I guess.

Anyway, why would you even bother to interview somebody who doesn't
look good on paper?

Melissa Hunter-Kilmer
mhunterk -at- bna -dot- com
(standard disclaimer)

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