A Quick Study?
volume 2 number 6
In a fast-paced, technology-driven workplace, it's not enough for employees to know their stuff. They also have to be quick learners who can easily assimilate new information and then use it in fresh and unexpected ways. We recently heard about an interview method that measures the capacity for rapid-fire learning in prospective employees.
Here's how it works. The candidate has several interviews scheduled for the same day. In the first one, the hiring manager describes the job and the company in great detail. The second interviewer then questions the candidate about what she heard in the first interview. It seems simple and straightforward, and it is. But look at what it reveals: How does the candidate react to the unexpected? Does she listen carefully? Is she objective? How effectively can she retain and communicate new information, especially in a stressful situation?
We like this approach, but suggest one modification. Have the first interviewer describe industry trends or new technologies, rather than the job itself. That way the candidate won't have information she can use to her advantage in subsequent interviews later in the day.