There was an opportunity created for a newcomer in my department recently. After considering my requirement HR department forwarded four candidates. One of the candidates was not up to mark and was rejected outright. Irrespective of my gut and first impressions, I decided to test them with a short essay challenge. Each individual had his/her merits and demerits. However even after going through all three essays, I wasn't convinced of the right candidate.
I did something totally new for me, something I haven't done in an interview prior to this. I decided to put them them through an 'apprentice' style project. Together with my colleagues we decided on a project which requires the candidate to go through an assignment where (s)he will have to,
- Draft a questionnaire based on a brief
- Find his/her own transport to reach a designated outlet
- Conduct interviews on the supermarket floor by talking to shoppers,
- Come back to office
- Based on the response to the questionnaire to conceive a creative idea
- Brief the creative agency on the requirement
- Work with the agency to finalize the concept
The first candidate went through the process today. My team went about the task of managing the candidate well. I will not comment on his/her performance today given it is an ongoing process. But truly believe it is very good way to conduct interviews. Let the best person get the job!