The Definitive Middle-Management Guide to Conducting Interviews

Anonymous on October 02 2012

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Indian Workers

Indians make for a great Analytics or IT department

Are you a proud member of the class of people that history will forget known as middle management? Do you use your meaningless title at work to shelter you from your mediocrity and insecurities? Are you scared of people who are smarter than you? Well then, this guide is for you!

We understand that part of your job as a manager is to hire the right team. And so we've put together some helpful tips to get just the right kind of toady.

Ask them about their strengths and weaknesses

There's no better way to get a canned and meaningless assessment of your candidate's abilities than to ask them outright what they're good at. Make sure to reward the most self-aggrandizing and obsequious answers over anything remotely honest. If someone tells you they're perfect, they obviously are, and you should reward that. If anyone is honest enough to give you an objective assessment of themselves, just think of what that says about what they might say about you at some point! You want to establish right away that you encourage yes-men that will disguise personal and organizational inadequacies over doing anything to improve them.

Ask about their five-year plan

Great leaders work with five-year plans. Mussolini, Stalin, and Mao were all pioneers of the five-year planning regimen and understood that success comes from setting ambitious goals for the future. Forget for a second that most of their five-year plans failed miserably and that people are generally incredibly bad at planning that far ahead. Also forget that five years ago, you probably didn't expect to be where you are now. Successful people set goals for themselves. Stephen Fry once said “the worst thing you can ever do in your life is set yourself goals. I think goal orientation is absolutely disastrous in life. Two things happen: one — you don't meet your goals, you call yourself a failure. Secondly — you meet your goal, you go: 'Well, I'm here, and now what?.'" I have one thing to say about that. Stephen Fry is a loser.

Judge First Impressions

Any good interviewer knows that you can assess a candidate within minutes, if not seconds, of meeting them. Your initial judgment is usually right, so why waste time getting to know anything but the most superficial elements of someone’s character? For instance, if someone is interviewing for a data analytics position and begins the interview with anything but the polish of a presidential candidate, you know they’re going to be a bad fit. Sure, maybe analytics has more to do with technical competence than communication skills, but since you’ll be presenting and taking credit for all the candidate’s work, you need to make sure they can at least explain your brilliant ideas to you.

Also, don’t forget the importance of race and gender. Asians and brown people tend to be good at crunching numbers but years of colonialism have drained them of any potential for meaningful leadership roles. Latinos and blacks make great laborers as well as excellent quota-fillers.
Young women make for great teases to distract you from your growing disdain for your wife. Make sure to hire only the most subversive, attractive, marginally competent ones. Let’s be honest, ugly women aren’t fun, and hiring women based on competence might require that you actually promote them to senior positions someday.

So who's your best candidate? An inherited sense of entitlement, social grooming at institutions like fraternities and private school, and years of objectifying woman and minorities, make white males ideal candidates for leadership positions.

Do most of the talking

Once you’ve made up your mind about a candidate, it’s important to demonstrate your value. Giving them too much time to elaborate on their qualifications might contradict your initial assumptions and force you to re-evaluate your inflated sense of worth. It’s important to establish hierarchy immediately. Ground the conversation in your experience, the organization’s incredibly positive trajectory, and why they should be lucky to work for you.

Cut your interviewee

You want a candidate to have the right attitude about the potential position. Will they be a subservient slave to your every whim, or will they challenge you and talk out of line when they're being used as a human foot stool? What better way to judge a person's character than to cut them a bit? If they lash out at you, that's a good sign that they will be a difficult employee to manage and haven't yet developed a hardened sense of their insignificant place in the world. The ideal response is a soft whimper, or at most a polite questioning of your motivations. In either case you'll want to slap them to demonstrate crying or questioning your authority is unacceptable.

Hire based on experience, not on potential

You want someone to join and make an impact on day 1. That means the right candidate has done the exact job you’re looking to fill. Despite record high unemployment of ambitious college graduates, if you can’t fill the position, it’s not because you’re a poor judge of character, it’s because you just can’t find the right candidate. Someone with years of experience leading a sales team wants to transition into running a business unit? An ambitious young person wants to just join the company and be helpful where it’s needed? These people don’t understand that your responsibility as a manager is not to coach and develop them. You just need someone to take some of your workload and not bug you too much.


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hallaathrad | reply
True story. 'nuf said.