I am convinced that the best way to conduct a job interview would be follow the prospective employee as they drive down the road. The actions that drivers demonstrate speak volumes about who they really are, what they believe, and how they will act on the job.
Less than 50% of an employer’s hiring decision should actually be based on whether the candidate has the skills to do the job, the lions share of the decision should be based on does the candidate fit with the company, team and supervisor. This fit could easily be observed through a windshield.
Lets start with the obvious, the candidate’s car, truck, motorcycle or bicycle. The look of the vehicle speaks directly to the driver’s personality and what motivates them. Is the vehicle clean or dirty speaks to the driver’s emphasis on appearance and how they will represent the company to others. The interior’s cleanliness can provide insight to how orderly the driver is or their attention to detail. If their car is a trash heap what will their workspace look like? The age, make and model of the vehicle could indicate where the driver’s priorities lay and what they think of themselves. Muscle cars, hot sports cars, mini vans, Harley’s, VW bug…you get the picture.
Bumper stickers and decals speak volumes and can get to those questions employers have but cannot legally ask. “My kid is an honor roll student”, “My kid beat up your honor student”, “I’m proud of my Eagle Scout”, “My boss is a Jewish Carpenter”, “My money and my daughter go to CU”, “Lesbians for Liberty”, “My other car is an airplane”, “A bad day fishing beats a good day at work”, “Legalize Marijuana”, “I’m insured by Smith and Wesson”, “He’s not my President”, and the list goes on.
Now that we have formed our opinion how the prospective employee thinks we can now focus our attention on how they behave. The ability to multi-task at work is often a desirable skill. Many drivers regularly demonstrate this competency by talking on their cell phone, drinking coffee, putting on makeup or shaving simultaneously while driving 85mph on I-25. Courtesy is a trait important to teamwork or sales effectiveness. Does the driver let others pull in ahead of them or quickly close the gap? Their emphasis on workplace safety may be demonstrated by their use of turn signals or wearing a helmet while bicycling. Road rage type driving can easily turn into a workplace nightmare or tragedy. Those one-finger salutes as well as a thank you for letting me in wave also show me a person’s true colors. My personal pet peeve though, is drivers who toss their trash or cigarette butts out the window. Who do they think is supposed to pick up after them? This thoughtless disregard for others, our city and the ecology is an indication for how someone thinks. The passing lane driver at the slow lane speed often suggests an entitlement mentality and can easily translate to employees who feel they are always owed something by their employer.
How will you score on your next drive behind interview? At this rate, I’m afraid that I might not even hire myself. So, when it’s time to look for a new job, keep an eye in your rear-view mirror, your next potential employer may be watching.