The Jelly Bean test(tm)

I’ve been thinking about interview questions lately. (having recently had to interview people again)

Joey – ‘So tell me about your weaknesses as you see them?’

Potential job candidate- ‘My only real weakness is that I work too hard’

Insert care too much, am too much of a perfectionist, hardly ever take vacation time

Joey – *smiles* (on the outside) *dying slowly* (on the inside) while scribbling furiously on his note pad…

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Interviews are a rehearsed exercise, a choreographed charade and in my opinion a flagrant waste of time and oxygen. What do the answers really tell you? Besides that someone is just going through the (peristaltic) motions of seeking employment. Which I suppose is… something. Still… I would like to posit an alternative…

Enter the Mighty Jo Jelly Bean test (all rights reserved, all wrongs reserved, all green wobbly things sent back)

Step 1. Empty a big box of Jelly Belly jelly beans into a bowl on the boardroom table.

Step 2. See what happens.

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I think you can learn a lot about a person by watching them eat Jelly beans. (certainly more than asking them where they see themselves in five years time)

  1. If you stare at each other uncomfortably for several minutes with no one making a move… they either lack initiative… or don’t like Jelly Beans. In either case do you really want someone like this working for you? Eliminate!
  2. They smile. And then pick out… and eat all the Blue Berry flavored beans. Clearly this person is a racist. Eliminate!
  3. Picks out all the Sizzling Cinnamon. And eats them!!! *you suck air through your teeth and mumble ‘Jeez’ under your breath* Eliminate!
  4. Picks out all the Buttered Popcorn and Toasted Marshmallow. While you can commend their palate…  those are the Jelly beans you wanted. Eliminate!
  5. Asks what flavor you like… and then doesn’t eat those. We may be able to work together
  6. Stuffs several flavors into his mouth at once. OMG! Eliminate! Eliminate! 
  7. Picks up the bowl and pours the entire contents into his mouth. Ballsy. (I feel comfortable using the determiner here, because a female wouldn’t do this) We may be able to work together
  8. Empties the bowl on the table and then reorganizes the Jelly beans by color/flavor/ranking. We may be able to work together
  9. Is a guy, but seems to favor Strawberry Daiquiri. Eliminate! 
  10. Out themselves as a Potterhead by referencing Bertie Bott’s every flavored beans and then lamenting that there isn’t a booger flavored bean. This could go either way 

And while the Mighty Jo Jelly Bean test is not foolproof and is, eh… on the whole quite subjective, I still feel this is a effective way to root out unsuitable candidates in an efficient and timely manner. Also you get to expense Jelly Beans under recruitment costs. BONUS.