We have TopGrading, which involves 6-12 hours of interviewing for one role, I’m not kidding, 6-12 hours. Then we have behavioral interviewing, where you focus on the behaviors behind a person’s success. Not just what they accomplished but how they did it.
Both have their positives but in the end I don’t think you really find out just how a person is going to do their work at your company.
So I thought just as with performance reviews I needed to look outside of work to see how most of us interact with those we hire for work, whether it is a lawyer, an accountant, a car mechanic, or anyone else to help us with our life problems.
Basically when I visit my doctor, I tell them what is going on, what hurts, what I did, or how I feel physically and he asks questions and then gives me suggestions on how to get better. I don’t ask my doctor, “So explain to me how you handled the last patient that came in with an upset stomach and fatigue.” It’s an absurd question but for some reason we do this when looking to fill a role.
Instead why not just cut to the chase and tell the person this is who we are, this is what we are doing and this is why we are looking to hire you, we need you to help us solve these problems and then sit back and let them tell you how they will solve them.
As he or she tells you how they will solve your problems, go into detail as to how they will do it. Focus not only on what they are saying but what they aren’t saying. Are they able to look at the bigger picture? Do they include others in their solutions? Do they understand how other departments will be impacted? Do they know what resources they will need and how to get them?
For me it seems obvious now but it took me years to come to this conclusion because I too believed in these other methods of interviewing.
Is it fool proof? Of course not, but at least it cuts to the chase and you have the opportunity to really talk the truth about what is happening at the company and what they can do to help you solve your problems.
Not only will you learn very much about them, they will learn lots about you and the company they are looking to join. There is no bs, no hiding the truth about how the company operates, the people issues, egos, all the good and bad that make it the company that it is, it’s an honest conversation for the person interviewing to see and hear, warts, rainbows and all, about our company.
Why are we so afraid to be open and honest during the interview process? So many companies call themselves transparent and open yet most do not conduct interviews in this manner, so how open and transparent are you if you can’t be open and honest in your first face-to-face encounter?
I’d love to hear from you. Have you had interviews like this, whether being the interviewer or the interviewee? I would love to hear everyone’s thoughts on this approach. What negatives do you see from this and how you would help overcome them? In other words, I’d love to have an open and honest cut-to-the-chase conversation with you.