Re: Was: Interviewing potential coworkers

Subject: Re: Was: Interviewing potential coworkers
From: Bruce Byfield <bbyfield -at- axionet -dot- com>
To: "TECHWR-L" <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- raycomm -dot- com>
Date: Thu, 15 Mar 2001 10:34:39 -0800

Michael Bryans wrote:

> Who can disagree that a group's "chemistry" should be
> considered when it comes to taking new members into its
> fold? I'm not meaning to be picky merely for the sake
> of argument, but I find some of the criteria in your
> posting to be elusive and inconclusive. In the end, I
> presume the collective instinct of your group kicked in
> and they reached the "too intense" verdict. However,
> what assurance is there that any particular group of
> individuals can be reasonably certain or objective
> about the nature of their own chemistry?

That's the trouble with the whole convention of interviewing: it's
simply not very good at fine filtering. To say that the whole
process simply gives an illusion of objectivity to subjective
decisions may be an exaggeration, but, in many cases, it's not much
of one.

Let's be honest: the only way to know whether someone fits in is to
work with them for a month or two. The fact that new hires generally
have a probationary period is an indirect acknowledgement of the

> into my ranks, but I do not think it reasonable to fear
> the intensity of others. Maybe some groups (or
> individuals) need to be shaken up and have their
> chemistry boat rocked once in a while.

I agree. But, unfortunately, most groups and individuals don't want
to be shaken up. In my experience, somebody labelled by others as
"too intense" is often a person with experience, high standards, or
energy. To people settled in a routine, these traits are not
virtues, but uncomfortable reminders of alternatives - and, perhaps,
of their own mediocrity.

Bruce Byfield 604.421.7177 bbyfield -at- axionet -dot- com

"From the hag and hungry goblin
That into rags would rend you,
And the spirits that stand by the naked man
In the book of moons defend you."
- Steeleye Span, "The Beggar"


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