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September 06, 2006


I was itching for a follow up post to the "Interviewing" discussion Seth set into motion- and you've captured the essence of what I was thinking.

I wonder what it will take to shift the concept of an interview from that of evaluation, to that of honest conversation.

In that light, a good interviewer comes closer to being a coach. Possessing the ability to connect with the interviewee; to discover what makes them tick and what environment they would grow in.

Astha - yes, my thoughts too. The experiential nature of Seth's suggestions are great and would be fun, but most would not pass the test for legal. I do think we can determine a lot, even about people's abilities to be creative, through good deep conversation.

I am also a fan of trying people out on a project or interim basis.

I can certainly see where legal considerations must be factored in. Great point and food for thought, as usually flows from you, Lisa. One advantage I do have is that I'm directing Chinese personnel in China; while this doesn't give me a license to conduct odd experiments, it does remove some of the risk involved with trying new techniques. Frivolous and 'questionable' lawsuits are practically nonexistent here...for now. Still, your insight is on-point. Well said.

Michael - Aahh, that does make a difference. I understand why the labor laws exist, but unfortunately instead of weeding out the 2% of people who ought to be sued, they end up causing grief for lots of fair and well meaning people as well.

I wish ti were a bit more flexible, but the reality of it is that it is not and lots of great people get sued and companies and people suffer. Better to avoid the problem in the first place.

That said, I have heard managers ask questions that would make me cringe - I wonder what rock they have been hiding under.

I will also acknowledge that cultural considerations are important too. What's standard in one culture can be taboo in another.

Hi Lisa, nice comments about Seth's entry. I also would like to congratulate you for such a nice blog.

Have you seen the recent post from Seth entitled "top ways to defend the status quo" at ??

I guess the 2nd point somehow is about your comment....:)


Hugo - Thanks!

Yeah, I saw Seth's comment. He can see it as defending the status quo or he can see it as a challenge to smash the status quo within the current legal boundaries. The laws are the laws - it is more difficult to be highly creative within constraints than it is to do so without them

My regular readers know that I am the first to toss the status quo when appropriate. When it comes to this topic, I think we need to show some recognition of the American system within which we need to operate. I would hate for managers to go out and try crazy stuff - with good intent - and get their hind quarters sued. It's ugly.

Perhaps my answer is a bit tainted by knowing what having to defend a company against a personnel lawsuit looks and feel like and how it can affect the manager and the company.

Hi Lisa

thanks for the answer.

Just to let you know that I completely agree with your point of view.

Fortunately, I live in a country where I can still try some "crazy" things in hiring, before being sued.
I also think that even though we must show respect for our candidate, and there are limits for the "crazy" things we can try.

It is an interesting suggestion; his new interview method. I do not think, however, it is one that will sweep the nation. For some good old fashioned interview practice check out:
interview preparation

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