You can’t work for me until you work me

The interview process is flawed and it’s impossible to fix.

(1) It’s slow. Really slow. Job post, resume looking, first interview, technical interview, team interview, culture interview… and 3 months fly by.

(2) People lie. The candidate says what he thinks will get him hired and conveniently covers up the blemishes. He lies to himself about what he wants and lies to the interviewer to get the job.

When the hiring manager shift to sell mode, he glosses over the bad bits, exaggerating the good ones (“Everyone here is really creative, and there’s no office politics…”)

(3) The important qualities can’t be measured through a conversation. Courage, leadership, empathy, enthusiasm and the ability to learn, to name a few.

(4) People don’t know themselves. If you watch American idol, you would see many people who think they’re incredible singers who are terrible, the people who think they’re terrible singers and they’re incredible, and the people that think they’re great singers and they’re great. That last bucket is really small.

Now, this may not work for you and it certainly does not work for every job. Here’s the way I’ve been the happiest with it.

You can’t work for me until you’ve worked for me. I’ll hire freelancers. I’ll hire people to do project work. I’ll pay extra to hire several people for the same task. I will work with people and then I’ll offer them a job.

That means the vast majority of the workforce is not available to me. The vast majority of the workforce will not come to work with you for two months as a temporary project manager because they have a day job. That’s ok because in exchange they get to have the best job interview in the world— actually working on the job. That’s how you find out if they can do it.

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