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Your Friendly Neighborhood Spider Man

by Beth Deison Smith

posted in Business

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Imagine being in an interview for a job that you really want and prepared diligently to ensure that you put your very best foot forward. The interview team is a panel of people who are not talking. Instead, they begin asking you a series pretty hard questions designed to challenge you. You are concentrating solely on impressing them with an objective of landing the position. All of the sudden, one of those people points out that you have a spider crawling on your shirt. What would you do? Would you scream? Would you jump up and run? Would you brush that spider off and then kill it DEAD?
This actually happened to one of our candidates that we interviewed this past week. He calmly looked down to his shoulder, brushed the spider off his shirt and continued his interview gracefully. Then, he joked about being Peter Parker to lighten the mood around the awkward situation.
We all laughed uproariously, including the candidate. We then resumed the interview, once again asking a series of questions to learn more about the job applicant. He followed up later that day with a thank you email for the opportunity to interview and shared his desire to come back for the final round. He expressed his interest in the position and shared that he really wanted this job. He then signed his email: "Your friendly neighborhood spider man."
I have spent hours talking to my clients about what to look for in candidates. We learn to listen for team focused language, accountability, integrity and cultural fit. Of course, we also ask questions about skill set and place them in scenarios that may occasionally arrive within the company to see how they would trouble shoot issues. Many of our questions are designed to learn how a person handles difficult situations, as many times in business, awkward, challenging and uncomfortable moments can arise both with customers and team mates. The ability to handle difficult situations is invariably one of the top qualities that any employer wants. An employee who can laugh at themselves and the situation presented can be a rare find. When they handle it gracefully and leave you impressed after an awkward set of circumstances, you should consider hiring them.
And as for Spiderman? We contacted him to continue with the interview process. He comes in this week for his final interview for (you guessed it) a web developer.
About the Author: Interested in hiring more effectively? A-list Interviews provides training and hiring services to empower employers to more effectively interview. Our 7 step interview process using the Response Analysis System™ is highly effective, with a 91% success rate of hires still employed by the company after 12 months. - Learn more at
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