What recruiters can learn from Trainspotting

One of the most famous scenes from Trainspotting is Spud’s job interview.

Renton, probably the world’s worst recruiter, gives him speed to help calm his nerves. You can see the results below…

This video contains explicit language.  

Below we have collated three lessons that recruiters can learn from this. 

“I just get pure shy with the interviewers. I get all nervous and can’t answer any of the questions.”

Firstly, as already mentioned, Spud’s nerves were ‘calmed’ by speed when, in fact, he should have calmly discussed Spud’s plans for the job interview.

Perhaps Spud could have sought sedate solace on his commute to the interview? Last year a candidate boarded a train on his way to a job interview at Finch Subway Station in North York, Ontario, Canada, and his fellow commuters eased his worries. Find out how they did so here.   

“So you lied on your application?”/“No. Well, yes. Only to get my foot in the door. Showing initiative and that like.”

Spud was referred by the Department of Employment, as his interviewer reminds him, so there was no need for him to get his foot in the door. He also admitted to lying: a candidate cardinal sin.

Almost 100,000 job applicants have lied about their qualifications in the past three years – according to a study by AXELOS.

Compounding this is the fact that almost half (48%) of HR professionals in the UK do not rigorously check the validity of an applicant’s qualifications. This means that a deceptive job applicant has a 50:50 chance of getting away with their lie. Spud was not so lucky.

It goes without saying that honesty is the best policy in such situations.

More job applications fibs, from a late-night drag show to an unnoticed educational embellishment, can be found here. 

“I’m a perfectionist.”

Spud is thrown a lifeline. He is asked a proper interview question: “What are your weaknesses?” He answers in cliché, declaring himself a perfectionist.

Lee Biggins, CV-Library's Founder and Managing Director, says: “Firstly, no one can be perfect all the time so this statement is an exaggeration of your abilities.

“Secondly, it could actually be detrimental to your chances as some recruiters see a ‘perfectionist’ as someone who is picky or focuses too much on the little things.”  

But it’s not just jobseekers who are guilty of overusing this word. Recruitment technology specialist Textkernel analysed online job postings up and until August 2016. Their findings, compiled for Recruitment Grapevine, discovered that ‘perfectionist’ or ‘perfectionism’ was used in 1,301 job postings.

One could deduce from this that maybe applicants are mirroring the desires of recruiters? 

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