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Interview Fail: When You Accidentally Hire a DJ for a Finance Job…

What’s the difference between a financial adviser and a DJ?

Mostly the suit, according to this story from the New York Times. It’s a tale of a DJ in a finance man’s clothing, and a perfect example of how easy it is to be fooled by appearances. Here’s what happened:

The Certified Financial Planner Board of Standards hired a professional D.J. named Azmyth Kaminski, shaved off his dreadlocks, removed his body piercings and put him in a suit. It taught him a few financial phrases and sat him in a conference room. Then it brought in people looking for a financial adviser.

…How did he do? After Mr. Kaminski spent about 15 minutes with each person, all but one were ready to work with him.

Our friends at Fistful of Talent rehashed the story in a recent blog post on what can happen when you rely too heavily on first impressions and end up basing important hiring decisions on things that don’t really matter. As blogger RJ Morris points out:

The interview remains the key selection criteria that most firms use. And the result? Mostly nonsense. People, as fragile and unpredictable as they are, overvalue certain things based on their own background, bad info, or general biases.

Moral of the story? If he looks like a financial adviser and talks like a financial adviser, that doesn’t mean he actually knows what to do with your money. Dig deeper! Find other ways to gather data, and make sure to ask probing questions during the interview. A clean shave and some buzzwords shouldn’t be all it takes to land a job.

Read the full post: Another Example of Why Interviews Usually Stink at


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