Olympic athletes train for years for the opportunity to compete in the world’s most prestigious athletic event. They spend hours every day in the pool or in the gym or on their bikes for a chance to win gold or silver or bronze. Yet even though an athlete may be chosen to compete, and even though she may practice the same moves over and over and over until the moves just become natural, there is still the opportunity to mess up at the moment it matters most.
I may be extending this metaphor a bit far, but isn’t this sort of how it is interviewing for a job? A person may train the majority of her life for a career, and she may have perfected her craft so that she is an expert in her field. She may then get the opportunity to compete with other professionals for a job, and at the critical moment—the job interview—she may blow it. A single misstep might leave a bad taste with the judges, and the opportunity is forever lost. And who knows how long she might have to wait for another opportunity.
These days many companies are conducting “qualifying” interviews to weed out candidates who may not be the right fit for the organization. This is smart. Both interviewer and interviewee get the chance to size each other up in a more casual way. Then, when it’s time to go for the gold, the interviewee is more confident and comfortable heading into the final round.
The only thing missing is the immediate feedback. Wouldn’t it be nice if, after an interview, the candidate stepped out of the room to a cheering crowd while quietly awaiting the score? Picture the board on the wall, scores posted revealing how she performed in each category, showing her rankings amongst her competitors. There could even be bonus points for saying something brilliant, and deductions for dressing as if she just rolled out of bed.
A multi-million dollar advertising deal with McDonald's would be nice, too.