March Madness: Interview, the Audition and the Try Out

Professional Sports is performance based, you have to “try out,” prove skills. Music is performance base, you have to “audition,”  demonstrate your mastery of the instrument. But the interview for a performance based job? Someone claims to have a skill set and they’re ask questions, maybe given a situation or case study to solve along with an interview(s) process. Is this optimal?

The interview, as we know it today is credited to Thomas Edison about 100 years ago. The story goes, he’d hired people who fell woefully short of his expectations. With so many applicants who wanted to work for him, he created a “test” to sort them out. Once the story circulated among businesses, in s short period of time, this became a standard.

It’s March Madness, NCAA basketball. Yahoo. A few games are just to heartbreaking to watch as one team will pull out 20 points ahead.  It’s easy to see the difference in the level of play which is how I bounced into the theme of job auditions, tryouts and interviews. Except, it’s not as simple as I made it out to be.

For the NBA college draft, only 31% of the first round draft picks are signed for a second season. That bit about musicians, blind auditions were implemented because orchestras were predominately white and male. OK, maybe the interview isn’t so bad? The methods, tryouts, auditions and interviews  are designed to find the exceptional. But, do the exceptional players make an excellent team? No. It’s the ability to work together, to have some overlap of some skills and expertise in others. Teams need respect for each other and respect for their leaders.

You know what, I’m going to go back to watching basketball and not try to solve the problems of the world. This week consider how hiring with the end in mind, how you want the team to perform versus exceptional hiring.  Or, you know, March Madness Sweet Sixteen Week!

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