So, it was the final of "The Apprentice" on TV last night. The Four finalists had to endure four tough interviews where their Application forms, CV's and Business plans would be scrutinised and ripped apart.
One of the interviewers had the cunning idea of asking each candidate to do the "Elevator Pitch" - this involves pretending that they have stepped into an Elevator (or Lift, for those of you who live outside the U.S.A) on the ground floor with the interviewer, and they have until the lift gets to the top floor to sell their business plan and why they should work for Lord Sugar.
As you might expect, being asked to do this at the very start of an interview threw the candidates quite a bit - but I don't think it went far enough.
If it was me doing the interview, I would have thrown a few extras into the mix to see how the candidate reacts. For example, I would let the candidate begin their pitch - but then interrupt them shortly afterward by making a loud "PING!" noise, and then explaining that someone else has got into the lift. This will test how good they can recover after having their train of thought interrupted.
Another thing I might do is pretend to suffer from Claustrophobia, and suddenly freak out half way through their pitch screaming "I can't get out! I've got to get out! Aaarrrgh!!"
It's all about seeing how people react to unexpected changes in a situation.
Of course, the "Elevator Pitch" is just one idea - there are many others interviewers could use. What about a Cattle Market pitch - the candidate has to sell an imaginary cow to the interviewer, and the interviewer could either interrupt occasionally by making loud mooing sounds, or start talking like one of those fast cattle auctioneers.
Of course, there doesn't have to be a "pitch" at all - there are others tests that interviewees could be asked to do. There could be a Pictionary test, where there are three cards with one word relevant to the interview or the position being interviewed for on each, face down on the desk. The candidate is asked to choose one, and then has one minute to draw that word on a flip chart pad. The interviewer knows what each card has written on it, but doesn't know which one gets chosen. So it's up to the candidate to get the word across to the interviewer as accurately as possible.
These are but a few of the ideas that popped into my head after watching the programme last night. The possibilities are almost endless.
I hate interviews. My best ever interview was when I went to work at the Head Office of a Charity in London - I even managed to get a joke in to the interview somehow, which got the panel laughing!. My worst interview was when I went for promotion at the same Charity - no-one was laughing then.........