"My Time to Relax"
volume 1 number 4
"My time to relax," are the candid but chilling words of an executive with a venture capital firm. This partner, who hires CEOs and CFOs, was frank to admit that his days are so hectic that an interview on his schedule is a break for relaxation.
He admitted that he simply tells the candidate, "Here is what we are looking for in this job, can you handle it?" He then sits back and listens (e.g. relaxes). I wonder how many other busy executives actually do handle interviews in such a casual manner? Probably a fair number.
This straightforward interview philosophy reflects reality and danger. There is often a low accountability factor in business today for the outcome of any one interview. This makes it tempting to turn an interview into a relaxing break. The danger, of course, is that a hiring mistake may occur. Either the wrong person will be hired or a terrific candidate will get away.
The mistake side of the equation is set in motion when the candidate is handed, in essence, an agenda for the interview and then is told what the interviewer expects from the perfect candidate. From this point on the information heard may be contaminated. It is difficult to sort out reality from what the candidate now thinks you want to hear.
Look for better ways to build a break into your day. The selection interview is one of the most demanding tasks you will face any day.