An Observer on the Hiring Team

Rene was frustrated. “I was asked to sit in on this hiring committee,” she began. “I am not the Hiring Manager, not even the Manager-Once-Removed, but I was asked to be a member of the Hiring Team. We sit with the first candidate, asking questions for about ten minutes, then the Hiring Manager spends 25 minutes talking about what a great company this is.”

“And?” I prompted.

“And the candidate walked out, the Hiring Manager turned to me, said he kind of liked the guy, and wanted to know what I think. I don’t know what to think.”

“You didn’t ask any questions during the interview?”

“No,” Rene replied, gathering her thoughts. “I was just asked to sit in on the decision. I thought I was playing the role of the observer.”

“And what do you think will happen?”

“I think we are going to hire this candidate and we don’t know anything about him.”

“Yet, even though you were the observer, you feel responsible for what may turn out to be a poor hiring decision?”

“Yes!” she responded, shaking her head.

“What could you have done differently, as an observer?”

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