To quote our COO James Goebel, traditional interviewing commonly consists of "two people sitting across the table lying to each other" while on their best behavior for an hour or two. Because who's going to answer "no" when they're asked if they're a team player!?
This form of traditional interviewing can be a slow way to fill your team when you need to ramp up output and can lead to people with good technical skills but poor cultural fit joining your organization. Since we believe that new team members need to quickly adopt a company's cultural practices to be successful in a new role, not just learn their product(s) and technologies, we came up with Extreme Interviewing.
In contrast to traditional interviewing, Extreme Interviews are more like an audition. They allow a company to set the expectation of what's most important to their team from the beginning while giving candidates the opportunity to showcase their fit... and give them a chance to opt out. In Menlo's case, we base our Extreme Interview around our values of pairing, cocreation, and flexibility. Large groups of candidates come into our office, pair with each other on simple tasks they're told they won't have the time to complete, and are assessed on the "kindergarten skills" working at Menlo requires before they even have a chance to have their technical skills assessed. In fact, the people assessing the candidates won't even have seen their resumes! With pairing and communication being such consistent cornerstones of what we do, while programming languages and technologies come and go, this system has helped us find the right employees for how we work.
So, how could your company better recruit for the values and skills you want from your workforce? Over the course of two hours, we’ll take the practices and behaviors critical to your culture and help you create scenarios for your own Extreme Interview process. This process also includes a pre-meeting before the workshop to give you and your team a jump start on defining those critical practices and behaviors.
The Extreme Interview Workshop is best for core hiring teams and decision makers of 5-6 people, though can include up to 12 people. You're also welcome to inquire about a customized, interactive workshop for a conference or larger group!