Interview: Coffee Klatch


Interview becomes
a coffee klatch

Interview becomes a coffee klatch. Particularly if you hire from within your industry, odds are that you and the candidate have many mutual acquaintances. There are two hazards in this.

First, you can allow the interview to deteriorate into a "who knows who" session in which you get few perceptions of the candidate's capabilities.

Second, and more serious, there is a tendency to talk "out of school" and do yourself real damage. Never trade stories about the idiosyncrasies of friends and former associates during an interview. Not only is the real purpose of the meeting neglected, but the stories can come around to haunt you.

You ever taken a psychological exam? Answered questions like "If you could come back as any animal you wanted, what would it be?"? Incredibly, despite the documented inability of the psychologists to explain and cure aberrative behavior, some companies take the results of these tests as proof positive of a candidate's unacceptability.

Too many employers have discarded favorable interviews and solid references and rejected good candidates on the basis of crude psychological tests.

Psychological testing does have value. If the tests indicate a potential weakness in a candidate, you should pursue the issue by checking references and discussing it directly with the candidate.



René Plessner Associates, Inc.

Management Consultants in Executive Search

200 East 74th Street
Penthouse A
New York, NY 10021

Tel (212) 421-3490
Fax (212) 421-3999

René Plessner, President