Job interviews can take on an element of the surreal sometimes – but there’s a fine line between good-natured comradery and bullying.
Reports have recently emerged of footwear giant Schuh making candidates imitate farm animals and wear bags over their heads during their interviews. According to jobseeker Dom Wright, 17, staff at a UK branch of the store asked 25 people to act out ‘humiliating’ scenarios during a two-hour interview.
In a bid to win a sale’s position, the candidates were told to ‘moo’.
Speaking to local publication, The Sun, Wright said: “I got there and all 25 of us were given a bag and an animal we had to pretend to be. They said I had to be a cow.
“We had to make the noises until we found the other person in the room who had been given the same animal.
“Others were pretending to be horses and chickens. It was bizarre, really awkward. I didn’t see what it had to do with the job.”
A Schuh spokesperson added that they were “appalled” at the ice breaker and did not condone it.
“We often use group interviews,” they added. “Within these our store management teams are encouraged to use ice breakers to put candidates at ease. Stores are issued with a list of pre-approved tasks.
“In this case the store attempted to be creative and used their own task. We’ve opened an investigation.”
HR leaders should remember that whilst it’s important to engage with candidates in an attempt to make the situation less stressful, there’s a clear line they should not cross.
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