For Impact


Screw the Interview

For Impact Ideas | | Tom Suddes

Every organization I know is struggling with ‘HIRING’ issues.

The Big Idea: INTERVIEWS are a worthless waste of time when it comes to decisions on TALENT.

I extrapolated this idea from an article, Why It May Be Wiser to Hire People without Meeting Them, by Dan and Chip Heath (authors of MADE TO STICK) in a June, 2009 FAST COMPANY.

The real nugget for me in this was the idea of the ‘SIMPLE JOB TEST’.

*The Heath’s even use a ‘nonprofit‘ as an example!


    • If you’re hiring somebody to write… ask them to write something!
    • If you’re hiring somebody to solve problems… ask them to solve a problem!
    • If you’re hiring somebody to SELL something… ask them to SELL YOU SOMETHING!!!

This last one is terribly important when it comes to Development Officers, Major Gift Officers, and (would strongly suggest) when it comes to CEO’s, Executive Directors and Leaders in the For Impact World. If these people can’t SELL, you shouldn’t hire them.

Special, Special Note: I urge you to take this ‘TEST’ and IDEA even further.

I’m a huge proponent of bringing people on as ‘Independent Contractors‘… for 30 to 90 days… to see if they can actually do the job!!!

This makes it really easy to see if they’re the right fit… and that they can actually do the job.

***Here’s a great example from a university:

Terrific candidate. Exceptional resume. A perfect fit ‘on paper’. Wowed everybody during the ‘interviews’.

However, still hired as Independent Contractor. Given a ‘three-month test period‘.

Result: The guy is still terrific; but… it wasn’t the right fit! He found out that this wasn’t something that he really wanted to do. We found out he really couldn’t do what we wanted. (Present Opportunities to Qualified Prospects… and Close.)

He will continue to work hard for the university, but as a volunteer not as staff.

Everybody ended up winning using this ‘TEST’ model.

Something to think about.