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From The Archive

29. Kick the candidate out of your office.

The worst place to interview anyone is in your office. Why? Because it's a sterile cubbyhole that's removed from the action.

When the candidate arrives for the interview, don't sit down. Walk out of your office and take the candidate out onto your work floor. Whether it's an office or a production plant, start by introducing the candidate to your staff and showing her the work. Let her see your department. Show her the tools you use and the products you make. Let her meet your people. Let them all start talking and asking questions.

You will learn more about the candidate by exposing her to the rest of your team (and them to her) than you ever could by sitting in your office. You'll learn how smart and how motivated she is by how she interacts with you and your team, by the questions she asks, by the opinions she offers and by the information she volunteers. If you've really got a gem, she'll dig in and show you how she'd do the job.

I call this Interviewing By Wandering Around™. When the candidate and the manager are amongst the work and the other workers, everyone relaxes and it's easier to talk about what matters because there it all is, right there in front of you: your business.

So, kick the candidate out of your office and see how she performs.

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