The GEM Debate:
Do You Think This Interview Tactic Is Too Much?
I read an article this morning on how a manager at Chick-fil-A starts the interview process before he is face-to-face with his interviewee. As the article describes, when someone comes in for an interview, the manager leaves a piece of trash, like a wrapper, on the floor of the restaurant where it’s easy to see.
Then he waits.
Now, if the person picks up the trash, that’s a great sign that the candidate cares about the environment around them. If they don’t pick it up, that does not necessarily lose them the job they’re interviewing for, it brings a topic of discussion where the manager confronts them about their decision to find out more information. Did the person even notice the trash? Did they see it and not want to pick it up because they don’t want to touch someone else’s trash with their clean hands? Do they have the attitude that they don’t have the job yet so they’re not going to do any work?
I think this is can be very telling about person’s integrity and the general way in which they present themselves. I might even go a step further and see if the person looked around first to see if anyone was watching. You can really learn a lot about a person by watching what they do in instances like these.
I worked as a Center Director of a National Childcare organization (before I was fired!) for many years and during interviews, I’d always ask the question, “Why do you want to work here?” I’d say, 9 times out of 10, folks would respond, “…because I love kids!” Well, that’s sadly not enough of a reason for me to hire you. Employers want passionate people that will work HARD, not just someone simply looking for a paycheck.
If you’ve ever been in a position where you made hiring decisions, you know it can be REALLY difficult to find someone who has things like integrity, compassion – a general desire to go above and beyond. I was not looking to hire the “that’s not my job” type. There isn’t a way to find that character trait out very easily. There are plenty of folks around who tote themselves as the ‘best person for the job’ during their interview and on their first day, you end up saying to yourself, “What was I thinking?!”
I made a practice of hiring people who wanted my job because I knew those people would work hard! People who wanted my job would grab a clean napkin and pick up the piece of trash using it…simple and easy – no thought required.
Chick-fil-A manager Kevin Moss says, “You can teach anyone to put chicken on a sandwich, but you can’t teach them to care about it.” That’s the truth right there!
I’ve been reading people’s opinions on a discussion board this morning and they’re all over the place. Some think this tactic is really sneaky while others think it’s great. What are your thoughts on using creative tactics like this one during the interview process? Let us know in the comments below or come join the conversation on Facebook!