Have you ever hired a batshit crazy person? Yep, we all have. Wouldn’t it have been nice to know if that person was batshit crazy before you hired them? Again, 100% yes! But it’s hard, right? Candidates lie to us. They don’t give us their true selves.
Well, this is why you read this blog, my friends. I give you all the inside, pro recruiting tips and tricks you want but never knew you needed!
Okay, here’s how this will go down.
At some point, every organization will have this in a different part of the process, you will ask some form of this question. I recommend you do it early, but some organizations actually wait to do this in the background check.
The question is this: “Have you ever gone by a different first name, and/or do people in your life call you by a different first name?” Now, I’m not looking for something like my Mom calls me “Richard,” but my friends call me “Dick.” Those are the same thing. Mike and Michael, check those are the same. Also, I’m not asking for your median name and married name. We expect that to happen. Also, I’m talking about gender changes like I grew up Bruce, but now I’m Caitlin.
I’m talking about something like I grew up “Tim,” and I was “Tim” until I turned 16, and then I decided I wanted to be called “Trevor.”
No sane person, not in witness protection, randomly decides to be called a different name unless there is some batshit crazy in the mix.
God bless my sister. I love her, and her name is Michelle. One day in high school, she came home and said, “Call me Chelsea now. All my friends call me “Chelsea.” And we immediately said nope. That’s not happening. Your momma named you Michelle, and everyone is going to call you Michelle. That’s what those who love you do. They put an immediate stop to anything that looks batshit crazy. By the way, to this day, she’s Michelle.
So, it’s an easy question to ask during an interview. “So, Tim, have you ever gone by a name other than Tim? Maybe something like Mark or Ted?” That response and answer you’re looking for is someone staring back at you, perplexed. Almost now, like they think you’re batshit crazy for even asking. That is the correct response! The correct answer is not, “Oh, yeah, for like a decade, my co-workers called me “Billy”!” If that happens, you immediately end the interview.
Look, I’m just out here spitting recruiting wisdom for free.
Some of it is going to hit home, some of it you’ll pass on. Pass on this gem at your own peril!