The Undercover Candidate™ was born out of professional curiosity. As a consultant helping organizations develop more effective hiring systems and speaker on hiring and employee development, Nora consistently seeks opportunities to improve her skills and capabilities within this realm. In evaluating her own professional development, Nora realized it had been nearly a decade since she had personally been on the candidate side of the interview process.

It was time to change perspective and re-evaluate hiring strategies from another angle. To that end, she applied for eight positions in and around Colorado Springs, CO, and landed five interviews. What occurred during these initial five interviews was surprising and more than a little troubling to a hiring professional. Were the behaviors demonstrated during these sample interviews an anomaly, or a trend? This question piqued Nora’s curiosity, resulting in her commitment to participate in 100 job interviews across the country as a candidate for positions ranging from office clerk and housekeeper to director of operations. Her curious nature knowing no bounds, Nora has continued to submit applications and participate in interviews, both for her own research and as a member of The Undercover Candidate Mystery Shop Team, working on behalf of client organizations. This project has allowed Nora to obtain a vast amount of data on what’s really happening behind the interview room door when hiring managers don’t know they’re talking to an expert.


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Areas addressed during The Undercover Candidate™ Mystery Shop Include:

  • Are interview questions focused on core competencies?
  • Are candidates treated with respect in that they want to be a customer after being a candidate?

  • Is the hiring process reflective of your organization's brand?

  • Are job candidates exposed to confidential or proprietary information?

  • Is the personal and private information of job candidates held in confidence?

  • What are the meta-messages sent during the hiring process and are they consistent with the organization's overall messaging?