Spilling, and Other Great Interview Techniques
Every leader possesses their own style of conducting an interview. I have coached many professionals on improving the results of their interviews via behavioral-based interviewing, and by using an interview guide. Today, however, I share an interview technique that is unique.
Not long ago a CEO was looking to fill a high-level position. He surprisingly delegated most of the interviewing to his team leads. They, in turn, presented him with two final candidates. He always conducts final interviews over dinner. In his mind, there are several “intangible” qualities that can be observed over dinner – manners, the ability to table talk, sociability, etc. A dinner interview also gives him the opportunity to spill things on the candidate. Let me explain. One of the qualities that is of critical importance to this CEO is empathy. Now, empathy is a tough quality to unveil during a traditional interview. So what he does is contact the restaurant ahead of time, talk with his favorite waiter, and request that the waiter purposely trip and spill a glass of water on the CEO’s dining partner (i.e., the job candidate). The results are always genuine and telling. Immediately after the spill, many of the candidates display the response that the CEO is looking for: sincere concern for the waiter who has tripped and spilled something. A fair amount of the candidates, however, yell at the server or display more concern about their wet suit than the condition of the fallen waiter. It is at this moment that they cease to become candidates.
You may think the CEO’s interview technique is devious. It is also brilliant, creative, and predicatively accurate. So what kind of brilliant and creative things are you doing for your business these days?
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