A good project team starts with a meaningful and human centred job interview. I loved the human face this article puts on the job interview process http://blogs.hbr.org/tjan/2012/09/the-most-important-job-intervi.html from Harvard Business Review by Anthony K. Tjan.
It reminded me about my marriage proposal, when the “Will you marry me?” question received the ” Will you?” response. A two word question meant to cement the mutual agreement and articulate the presence/or absence of a common vision. True for marriage. True for business. True for project teams.
I usually know at the end of an interview that I would not like to hear back from an employer when he/she:
1. is taken aback when I actually have questions as a follow up of his/her ‘Do you have questions” question. It closes the opportunity to find the match.
2. reads from a sheet of paper the questions to ask. If an interviewer cannot articulate one sentence, how he/she is able to assess the response? It is often a sign of simple lack of interest in the response.
“Too often, I feel, employers forget that they want or need the candidate as much as the candidate needs them“, writes Tjan. And I subscribe. Not treating the job applicant as a valuable customer is a certain recipe for driving away the best. I’ve noticed it in a year of 15 international competitions and an equally high number of local recruitments. It showed me that the job interview is a two-way process. Flexing muscles as an prospective employer helps only if you hire a gym instructor and even then it can be seen as a competition rather than interest in the candidate’s talent and skills.
The job interview is the basis for building trust, a mutually fulfilling work relation and making a team work. “If you were given this opportunity, would you take it?” is THE interview question proposed by Tjan to test the foundation. I would follow it up with “Why?” and let the candidate talk.