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…
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.
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)
- 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!
- They smile. And then pick out… and eat all the Blue Berry flavored beans. Clearly this person is a racist. Eliminate!
- Picks out all the Sizzling Cinnamon. And eats them!!! *you suck air through your teeth and mumble ‘Jeez’ under your breath* Eliminate!
- Picks out all the Buttered Popcorn and Toasted Marshmallow. While you can commend their palate… those are the Jelly beans you wanted. Eliminate!
- Asks what flavor you like… and then doesn’t eat those. We may be able to work together
- Stuffs several flavors into his mouth at once. OMG! Eliminate! Eliminate!
- 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
- Empties the bowl on the table and then reorganizes the Jelly beans by color/flavor/ranking. We may be able to work together
- Is a guy, but seems to favor Strawberry Daiquiri. Eliminate!
- 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.