Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Give us the feedback!

Give us the feedback. When my young friend recounted his recent experience, the first thought that came into my mind was weird. Should I text Y for satisfied and N for dissatisfied? But it was not as simple as that. My friend was describing his experience while attending a job interview in France.

Unfortunately, my young friend was rejected on two grounds. The first one was for his appearance. He wore jeans for the face-to-face interview. For any face-to-face interview, you should be presentable and this factor depends on your audience. Know thy audience. Isn't that the cardinal rule for all performers? Jeans might go well in Silicon valley. Does the same apply to France? 

 The second one was his non-responsiveness after committing to send a feedback. This part requires more thought. Isn't closing a job as easy as giving out the verdict of yes or no with explanation? Then why the charade of a feedback? What is the interviewer looking forward to? Does he/she require recognition from the applicant? I rushed into conclusion. My response can be summed up in one word, preposterous. The long term resident European in our group shooed me away with the classic statement. This is how it is done in Europe. There are people sending feedback about how bad the coffee was or how long the waiting period in the lobby was etc etc. The classic statement and subsequent illustration didn't go down well with me. I don't deny they are feedback but whole point of asking for a feedback has to be something bigger. 

After putting a lot of effort (thinking of course), I unravelled the mystery. I felt bad about it since I couldn't see through this statement after having conducted numerous interviews myself. Of course, I will reveal the mystery for you. At the same time, I am also going to make it more interesting,that is if you are interviewer, by adding a twist. 

When the interviewer asked for a feedback about the interview, he was neither unsure of self nor was looking for a validation. Instead the interviewer was assigning my young friend an action item. The interviewer wanted to check if my young friend can follow an action item to closure and how fast he can do it. So next time you attend an interview, watch out for this trap. If you commit yourself, follow it to closure. If you are not sure, ask questions. Ask to clarify what kind of feedback he is looking for. Remember what I said. Know thy audience. When you ask, you are inadvertently entering into the elicitation phase or the requirement gathering phase!

My friend was explicitly asked to send a feedback about the interview. Now if you are an interviewer, keep it vague and ask for a feedback alone. In simple words, keep it open ended. Let's see if your applicant asks questions in order to find out what you really need. If he/she does, you already have a winner . Now that you have read this, here is an action item for you. Give me a feedback...please.

Tags: Musings,Feedback,Interview,Young Friend



6 comments:

  1. Good analysis. I think you have a valid point here.

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    Replies
    1. Thank you. I had heard about this technique of assigning an action item to the applicant in one of the websites. At that time, I found it intriguing. Now I know there are people who actually do this!

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  2. so here..I pick up the bait!! It's a good read man. Something I will have to keep in mind while preparing for interviews!! Am I selected?

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    Replies
    1. You are selected! Yeah, you are right. It was a bait. So far, only two were hooked. :)

      Delete
  3. A feedback about an interview? I find that a little weird, but intriguing.

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    Replies
    1. Like I explained, it is more about checking if you can follow up something to closure. This also measures your energy in terms of pro-activity.

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