After reading another article on the topic of assessing personal qualities of a candidate during an interview, I can’t help but think it might be better to stop trying to do this altogether and stick to the subject-“Do they have the ability to do the job we need done and if so will they do this in the way we need it done and within the time frame it needs to be finished?”.
Everything else is a wasted effort trying to determine in an hour or even a few hours of interviewing (even if you happen to be foremost expert in the field of psychiatry) who a person is. It takes time and careful observation to establish enough understanding of a person to make predictions based on patterns that emerge over time.
To all my future interviewers:
Please don’t ask “trick” questions or stage the environment in a futile attempt to figure out anything substantive about my character, my integrity or my core being (including, as point #5 in this article suggests, pulling significant others into the mix.)
It is very awkward for me, the interviewee, when I field these things during our time together. It isn’t as if I don’t recognize what is going on and it may be easy to forget this, at times, but, I’m interviewing you, too.
These sorts of questions and setups that are used to gauge anything meaningful about who I am, personally, kind of make me wonder about what kind of company I’d be working for and specifically, what kind of boss you’ll be. I will say that it doesn’t give me a great feeling about our future together.
You might wonder why.
Why is this person I haven’t even heard of yet advising me what not to include in my interviews? Well, because it doesn’t work. There is nothing you will learn about me that your questions and stage setting is designed to elicit.
Not one thing.
And, I really mean that. One of two things will happen.
- Knowing what is going on, I am going to call upon my cleverness and serve up what you think you want to hear or observe OR
- Wondering if I know what is going on, I am going to call upon my cleverness and err on the side of caution by serving up what you think you want to hear or observe.
If somehow one of these techniques slips under the radar and catches me unaware, whatever it is I say or do in response has more to do with what I’m experiencing that day than what my general nature actually is.
It’s a crap shoot.
Trying to predict who I am based on a few minutes or a few hours of contrived situations or questions constructed with your built-in bias is like trying to predict the weather.
Weather is quirky. Everyone knows this. What you really need to know is more akin to climate. Climate is what weather happens in, but overall, stays stable over time.
If you happen to interview me, why don’t you just tell me what’s on yourmind or ask me what’s on mine and forget about the game. I live for a great challenge, but I’m not much of a gamer. If you are, that’s cool. We’re just probably not a good fit and I will actually tell you that.