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The Art of the Interview

Let’s face it, many businesspeople dread the idea of interviewing candidates.  HR people don’t like it, although it’s their job, but regular employees hate it even more.  One reason is that no one likes saying no to people who are unemployed through no fault of their own.

Danielle Weinblatt is the founder of Take the Interview

The reality of the economy today is that there are probably ten “no’s” for each “yes.”  But the bigger objection is that the process is so inefficient.  Despite prescreening, many candidates turn out to be manifestly unqualified.

Admit it. When you interview somone, you know within about three minutes whether a candidate is of interest. But few of us have the fearlessness of producers auditioning actors.  “Thank you for coming!  Next.”  So what we do is be nice and go on interviewing anyway. No one benefits from this pretense.

What to do?

That’s where Take the Interview comes in.  It’s a video interviewing platform that lets employers ask three to five important questions to multiple candidates and receive video responses. Employers pay a subscription fee to post job openings; applicants get one shot to answer the questions, just like in a real interview.  Employers screen the responses at their convenience to determine if a candidate is worth bringing in for a facet-to-face interview.

Recently Danielle Weinblatt, the founder of Cambridge, MA-based Take the Interview asked me to add some of the questions in my book The Manager’s Book of Questions to its inventory of questions. I was happy to.  Danielle also asked me about my views about the future of job interview and a very nice ebook resulted.  Check it out Improving the Art of Interviewing.  An excerpt:

Q:  What is the future of interviewing?

JK:  I think interviewing will become much more direct and much less sentimental. There’s still too much of an emphasis in painting over flaws and imperfections, both on the part of the candidate as well as the hiring organization. The process is not well served unless it’s possible to have frank conversations about the strengths as well as the weaknesses of both parties. I’d like to see the choreography of the interview be more honest.

Q: No one is comfortable talking about salary in an interview. What’s your advice?

JK: What’s stopping us from being honest about salary and money issues? The reality is that no one wants to bring up the money question first. The money conversation is one of the most important aspects of an interview, yet it is invariably the last thing addressed. I’m not suggesting that money become the very first question, but it also shouldn’t be the very last. I think candidates should be allowed to ask questions about money, benefits, and compensation topics without being labeled greedy or self-centered.


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