I have never been a fan of the typical interview process. Too many unknowns and ample space for unauthentic fluff. Asking someone to “talk about a time where you exemplified ___________” makes it awkward for both parties and leaves much up to interpretation. Who knows, maybe that complete stranger is taking liberties with a particularly challenging episode of Man vs. Wild.
You need to find out what people are made of and do so in a very limited amount of time. That's why I've come up with Chappy's tips for hiring surefire winners. Squad up and prepare for world domination.
Put a piping hot Toaster Strudel in front of them, slide over an icing packet, and give them 60 seconds to do their best. This works on several levels:
- For creative types, that flaky crust is literally your blank, sugary, canvas with only essential tools. As Tim Gunn would say: “Make it work”
- You want a great salesperson? Have them explain their approach and why this is the best toaster strudel ever. If you can close the deal on an amateurly-iced frozen pastry, then you are going to achieve greatness.
- If they instead give you a commentary on healthy, well-rounded breakfasts, tell them we live in America, and we can eat sugar on top of gluten on top of sugar anytime we want.
Herd the Cats
Schedule the interview for 11:00am. Exchange pleasantries, throw a few softballs, then…have them get everyone on their prospective team to AGREE ON LUNCH and make it there BEFORE THE NOON RUSH (because otherwise there’s a flipping wait). I’ve seen very respectable people crumble under this pressure with people they’ve known for a while.
- If you can navigate everyone’s dietary restrictions and come to an amicable consensus, kudos.
- To succeed, you’ll probably have to literally push people out the door. I have personally done this and would appreciate someone who cares this much about respecting the lunch.
- Is there a better way to exemplify true leadership? If you can’t get your team on time to a simple meal, then good luck in motivating them for a project that isn’t delicious.
Last but not least…
Bust out the Tunes
Play the “get to know you” game for 15 minutes, hand over your Spotify account, and ask them make you a playlist. Provide an example (or a real party you are throwing) if you wish to establish guidelines. If not, that’s cool too. Stand back and watch the sweat drop…
- We are going to co-habitate many hours every week, so understand how to reign in your fringe tastes for a bit without going full-on top 40.
- This is actually a heaping pile of pressure. I am no professional DJ, but have very much felt the glaring judgment of a wedding party who isn’t keen on your latest selection. Sorry again, Joe’s Grandma, for MIA’s “Paper Planes” at the Henson nuptials. It was totally hot that summer.
- Lil’ Jon did quite well in two different seasons of the Celebrity Apprentice, for whatever that is worth. And we all know his beats are off the chain.
Onward and upward, you titans of industry.