I find it fascinating how employers hire staff because it reminds me of being set up on a blind date.
Maybe you are introduced by someone; maybe you met online. No matter how you are introduced, each of you is trying to create a good impression with the hope of getting married to the right person.
Unfortunately, like many blind dates, the interview is often a waste of time. You talk about things you have in common. What you’ve done. How you did it. What’s going on that you need them for.
A lot of talk very little “action.”
I don’t mean action in a “dirty” way.
I mean it in the context of really being able to benchmark someone for their relevant knowledge and experience and how it really fits with your needs.
It’s why I like the Bobby Flay quote, “When I’m hiring a cook for one of my restaurants, and I want to see what they can do, I usually ask them to make me an omelet.”
Now, it isn’t the omelet that is interesting to me but the fact that he wants to see and watch them before hiring them.
A theatrical audition is the classic audition we think of people going through. One by one, people come up on stage to perform. Reality television has shown us musical auditions with “American Idol” and other shows of that genre.
But what about “The Apprentice?”
Donald Trump has constructed a simple formula where he is auditioning people and then we watch them execute a task that he judges relevant. Other shows do the same thing.
People eliminate themselves from consideration for many reasons that would never been uncovered in a typical interview.
How many of you have constructed a test let alone one that actually measures something relevant to the job.
One of my clients’ administers an industrial psychology test. They care about whether someone is meticulous and detail oriented but it isn’t really an interview about their skills or ability to execute the tasks of the job.
One of my clients’ does a few phone interviews before flying in several people to work on a project with one another. They have found that if they give these managers a program to work on together, they learn a lot about their ability to think, work with others, knowledge and capabilities beyond their ability to “tell a good story.”
What can you and your hiring team construct?
After all, if an omelet can be a way a great chef can eliminate people from consideration, why can’t you create a simple test that makes them sweat and lets you learn something useful about them?