Long shortlist

May 23, 2006

I’ve just been ploughing through 32 applications for a support post at the uni, trying to draw up a shortlist for interviewing. I really don’t like doing this kind of thing.
What I’d like to do is see all of them individually, sit and chat over a coffee, see what drives them, what their attitude is, see if this is really what they want to do. I don’t feel that this deliberately impersonal system of scoring points against selection criteria necessarily makes a better job of getting the right person into the right job than a good gut feeling. And we could be throwing away really good, keen people just because they have no driving licence or experience of level 2 switches. That’s sad.

When I went for my first interview, the boss took two of us out to the pub and we talked over lunch and a beer. We liked each other, I got hired and spent seven years in that job. Yet he could easily have chucked out my application on the grounds that I was just out of school and had no experience.

When I rule the world, all this will be different.

Not necessarily better; just different.

Update: So we (the interview panel) met to consider our shortlist and, wonder of wonders, we must have done something right because we’d all chosen the same top six out of the 32! There was a seventh, who I’d scored low for some reason, but the other two had scored high, who we decided to invite to interview as well. I think the difference was because the others had had time to look past the bald criteria matching and see that the guy was effectively doing a similar job elsewhere. Exactly what I said I’d prefer to do. Hey ho.

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