Seth Godin: No more job interviews

I’ve long held that job interviews are a waste of time. They tell you nothing. And once someone is hired, you usually know within a week if you made the right decision. But then it’s too late. My man Seth Godin (I know, I know) suggests a better way:

“There are no one-on-one-sit-in-my-office-and-let’s-talk interviews. Boom, you just saved 7 hours per interview. Instead, spend those seven hours actually doing the work. Put the person on a team and have a brainstorming session, or design a widget or make some espressos together. If you want to hire a copywriter, do some copywriting. Send back some edits and see how they’re received.


If the person is really great, hire them. For a weekend. Pay them to spend another 20 hours pushing their way through something. Get them involved with the people they’ll actually be working with and find out how it goes. Not just the outcomes, but the process. Does their behavior and insight change the game for the better? If they want to be in sales, go on a sales call with them. Not a trial run, but a real one. If they want to be a rabbi, have them give a sermon or visit a hospital.”

I’ve been thinking about the various job openings we have at Learfield, wondering if this could work for us, and I can’t see why it wouldn’t. But more to the point, the traditional interview technique is worthless, so what have you got to lose?