Have you heard of the Green Grass boardroom?
If not, I assume you’re not a golfer because the green grass boardroom is actually the golf course.
Doctors, lawyers, dentists, television personalities, business owners, small business owners and more professions than I care to mention have replaced their corporate boardrooms with the lush fairways of the local golf club.
The countless hours spent “meeting” and building business relationships on the course make for endless amounts of timely contributions, but this article has a specific purpose… McKinsey Interview Course .
As a former golf pro who used to play up to 3 rounds of golf a day, and a corporate professional who also had my own boardroom, I’m here to suggest the value of golf courses during job interviews.
In my view, your standard interview rooms are fake, boring, and sterilized. It offers the sanctuary of four walls, security, and a stage floor where rehearsed acting skills can confound the best of judgment.
Back to the golf course.
we imagine for a second that Jack might have been shortlisted for a new junior executive position. How can we find out what makes him better or worse than other candidates?
(I must stress that although a specific scenario was chosen for this example, you can use the same strategies to meet anyone you want.)
- How was the punctuality?
- Did he arrive earlier?
- Did he call ahead to confirm specific dress codes?
- Does he realize it’s a cart only course as he walks up the driveway in his new pull buggy he just bought for the occasion?
- Are the clubs he uses new, old, clean or dirty?
- Has he shown pride in his looks and the tools of his trade?
- Did he offer to pay? Does his clothing tell you anything about his spending habits?
- Has he started talking big game or started making excuses before he knows how his skills compare?
At this point, no racquet has been swung in anger and we already have enough information to form a preliminary opinion. In extreme situations, is the game over before it even begins?
As a golfer who has played quite a few times I can tell you that you can learn a lot from a golfer once they are above the ball… good basics are part of it!
While you’ve made assumptions about his play, he’ll also be able to form opinions about your play.
He might sheepishly look for a rock to hide under when he’s feeling inferior, or he might be standing with a big, smug look on his face.
He either likes his chances or he provides more pregame excuses than you can ever imagine. (Don’t we just love excuses?)
Let the fun begin
As you embark on the course, opponents have been assessed and expectations may have been raised. Any indication of exceeding its ability or worse than undercutting some form of security?
The onion layers are peeled back and the raw personality traits are revealed in full. Every decision and every action will give you a deeper insight into the kind of person you will be spending your valuable time with.
Tomorrow we’re going to take it to the golf course and really get to know our candidate.
There are just so many ways to peel off the layers, it’s scary. The decisions they make while under pressure will provide you with some of the most valuable Businessacademy1 information you could ever hope for!
Take a second and analyze what you could possibly know about your candidate.
Forget if he/she looks like he/she can play, it’s all about how he/she acts and if his/her actions match the words that are so intent on pleasing.
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