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Added December 29, 2006

More Wine Please

The classic illustration of non-directive hiring is the free flowing job interview. I had a speaking engagement on the West Coast and my wife joined me so we could extend our stay and enjoy the weekend. We went to dinner the night before my presentation at a very busy restaurant. At the table next to us were seated two gentlemen who were sharing a bottle wine prior to placing their order. I nodded to them and they responded in kind.

It was not long and I realized an interview was in progress. Once I got over being offended by this unprofessional behavior, I decided to listen. The interviewer was a senior vice president in a large company. The applicant was a senior level manager being considered for a vice president’s post to report to this interviewer. I was shocked by the total ineptitude of the interviewer. First, all he did was ask closed ended questions. “Do you have the energy to put in the time our company demands of managers?” he asked the applicant. The applicant responded, “I sure do.” The interviewer then said, “That’s great. Then, I assume you are a do whatever it takes guy.” The applicant merely nodded.

This scenario played itself out. Several times I was tempted to hand the interviewer my business card and tell him I could help. My wife’s icy stare kept me in control.

Well, he hired the applicant while eating dessert. They had consumed three bottles of wine, but the applicant only drank two glasses, so I’m not sure what the interviewer would remember in the morning. However, he sure felt good about his decision while eating his three layer chocolate cake, with ice cream.

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