Old Friends and the Mask


written for Canadian Community News by Mike Sterling

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A friend of mine has hired a lot of high technology people in Silicon Valley.  He uses many techniques.  He is dealing with elite brains that can disguise themselves from the unwitting interviewer.  They have a mask and it has to be put aside to get a clear view.

Of course he uses past employment, education and home and family values.  He meets the applicant and tries to ascertain how the person would fit the job and organization.  How would the applicant problem solve?  How about team building?

It's not an exact science.  It takes a lot of experience to recruit, hire and build an entire startup company.

He uses  techniques that he has acquired over the years. They are interesting. 

He tries to find out how many old friends the applicant keeps in touch with over the years. 

Does he/she still communicate with very old friends who have no influence over the applicant's current well being.  Does the applicant discard old friends in a quest for power and money?

Is the applicant able to get along with people even when they have disagreed with them?

If the applicant cherishes contacts and old friends on a regular basis, it is a good sign that the person is loyal and steadfast.  He/she may just get along with the world today and in the future.

There is something to be said for this rather obscure technique.  There would not be one in one million interviewers who would ask:  "Tell me about your old friends?  Do you still contact them? Do you wait for them to call or do you call them? How did you meet them?

A companion set of questions hinges around pride.  What are you proudest of in your career and life?

Who can resist such a question?  We all have taken pride in something we have done.  The question gets the applicant talking and pretty soon you can get a good idea about the human behind the mask of the applicant.

It is the interviewer's job to unmask the person interviewed.

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Wednesday, April 05, 2017