The threat of the false positive by way of stupid pet tricks

I'm always interested in other companies' interview processes. It helps me realize that some of the stuff we do really does feel like innovation to other companies even though it's just part of our regular process. I also realize that some of the things that work at a small company aren't going to hold water elsewhere. And I submit for your approval: the Method interview process.

I love some of the ideas/intent behind this. Shake things up, lose the professional interviews. But. And this is the big but (not jokes, it's "but" "t" folks), OK, yeah, all kinds of red flags are hoisted above the good ship Method.

They are swapping out the "professional interviewers" for "professional presenters"; who were basically given an open book test. Which group do you think has the higher potential for being full of it?  Fun? Yeah. Amusing. And something that could also be uncovered more appropriately in an interview. You know, where people might not feel so humiliated if they don't get the job.

OK, second. Homework means work. Like it's right there in the word. Give them a real business issue and you are asking them to do work. But they don't "work" for you yet. It's a tenuous legal issue. I'm just saying that I wouldn't go there. The person feels that you used their recommendation in your business and you have a problem. It might be something that was already in the works when they presented it. Them just thinking you used it can tie up your legal team. It hasn't happen to me but it's scary.

And...I don't give a rip if I want to sit next to someone on a 5 hour plane ride. I want them to do the job and not tick people off. I have ear phones. Noise canceling ones. All the charm and stuff? Hey, it's fun. But so not a requirement of the job (unless it's a requirement of the job, in which case, it's called "collaboration", not "being entertaining at 30,000 feet). Reduce their expense account and send them back to coach. Change your seat at the last minute. Or your flight. Or whatever. Jeez, seriously? This is an issue that drives the interview process? Yikes.

So I got 2 more things to say about this:

1) I am starting to worry that I now officially fall into the corporate wonk bucket; where saying "no" to innovative stuff is part of what I do. But in my defense, this interview process is crazypants. Donde esta the Method PR or legal teams. OMG, did I just type that?

2) Why don't people just interview folks for the job?  Stop being cute and tooting your millenial horn. Put on your big boy pants (or big girl pants, if we can't talk in generalities) and run your business like a business. I get it...corporate culture, etc. It's stuff that should be assessed via targeted questions related to the qualifications necessary for the job, not via the show the candidates are asked to put on.

Seriously, everything does not have to play out like American Idol.


Comments (4)
  1. Andrew says:

    Method's interview process doesn't even seem that innovative. Academia has a long tradition of asking for essays from applicants. I do believe that when you want to join a company you have to jump through whatever interview hoops they want to put in front of you but I did smile to myself when I read about the CEO candidate who wouldn't play along. Method are looking for "unusual, dynamic people" but apparently can't see the irony in dismissing people who push back against a rigid interview process.

  2. HeatherLeigh says:

    I am with you on most of what you say, Andrew. Except one part: "I do believe that when you want to join a company you have to jump through whatever interview hoops they want to put in front of you…" Yikes.  As a candidate, what if the hoops are irrelevant, humiliating or potentially discriminating? And as an employer, what if they are a potential lawsuit hazzard or just unnecessary or not nice (again, humiliating, etc.). Arrogance in the interview process drives me nuts. Too many people use it to boost their own ego or use it as a hazing process.  

  3. Shweta says:

    I sometimes wonder if these interviewing methods are taking away the real aim (get the employee and employer to know each other) in favour of being innovative and "different".

  4. Andrew says:

    I thought I had already replied to your comment Heather. Obviously not.

    I completely agree that there is a point where either the interviewee or interviewer just has to get up and walk away. I was more meaning that if a company wants you to make a presentation in front of a group or do some homework or answer brainteasers etc. then, as long as it doesn't cross an ethical boundary, it is reasonable to expect an interviewee to respond within the bounds of that process as opposed to fighting it.

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