Why Job Interviews Should Be Like The Presidential Campaign
Two people go head-2-head to win the coveted role of Junior Washer Upper.
The last job interview I had I flopped. Hugely.
It was for a role I was already doing, albeit as a freelance. So I knew the job, I knew the answers to the questions, and I knew how to execute the practical bit before I entered the actual interview room.
That’s when I fluffed it. The pressure of condensing all that information into just one small room, with two people asking questions, in a half-hour time limit.
My head just jellified. I couldn’t find the answers. I couldn’t give examples.
I. COULD. NOT. THINK.
Then I went back on Monday and continued to freelance in the same role as the job I’d applied for.
What if the US election candidates Donald Trump & Joe Biden had to do that?
What if they had a month to apply for the position of President of the United States online. Then, if they were invited in for interview, they had a week to prepare and the best interviewee won.
Even better if they both had to sit in reception, awkwardly making conversation whilst avoiding the elephant in the room.
If there was an actual elephant in the room, that would at least make it fun. In fact, a live elephant in the room would create a talking point that would distract them from the fact they were both going for the same job.
The elephant in the room somehow managed to do the opposite of what it was there to do. Silly elephant.
Aside from the bit with the elephant, that process would make for a very boring Presidential campaign. Mainly because hardly anyone would know about it.
What if job interviews were carried out like political election campaigns?
Imagine if two people who were both going for a job as kitchen assistants in their local bar had to go through that process.
If, say, Amy and Steve had to go up against each other over the course of 6 months, culminating in two debates in the car park of The Bay Horse in the country village of Cherry Burton, both of which are streamed live on social media.
They could have compelling slogans made up.
Make Cheese Sandwiches Grated Again
Yes We Can (Swap Jacket Potato for Chips)
In one last build up to the final interview day, the candidates would knock on the doors of the villagers. They’d ask if they’d ever experienced any slightly dirty cutlery, then vow to change it.
Amy would share her policy on washing glasses first, greasy pans last. Steve would guarantee no diner would ever find a rogue pea in the silver dish of ketchup.
After months of campaigning, villagers would then post votes to the landlord of the pub. Then, at roughly 0430 on a Wednesday morning, Steve and Amy would find their fate.
The winner would start on Saturday at 10:30 and have to make sure the bar floor is mopped before opening.
The next time I see a position that requires an application process, I am first going to email Human Resources and suggest the election campaign process of recruiting.
They talk about Donald Trump and Joe Biden being under pressure in the States.
The pressure is far greater when you’re in a small room, trying to remember answers about something you know very well, without the people you’re going to be working with having a say on your ability.
Well, except the receptionist who’s been chatting to you about their daughter’s new lawnmower as you wait nervously.