How To Nail an Interview (And Flub a Research Project)

This guy may give good job-seeking advice, but his research methods seem positively unethical to me. They also raise some legal issues. Here's how he gathered his data for How To Nail An Interview:

If I could be the one asking the interview questions, not answering, I could see first hand what made candidates stand out. I could then take that knowledge and cater my behavior in any future interview to give myself the best chance of getting hired.

First, I needed to create a “corporate presence.” I found a company that rented office space by the hour. It was in a downtown Seattle high-rise, had a killer view, and came with a secretary, who'd call me once an interviewee arrived. It was perfect.

Next, I posted a job on craigslist for a marketing coordinator at a “soon to launch” web company. Literally minutes after the posting, resumes poured in, 142 on the first day, 356 in the first week.

Finally, giving the interview wasn't enough. I wanted to be able to go back, review the footage, and dissect answers, body language, everything, to really see what makes someone look good or bad. So before scheduling any interviews, I got online, bought a couple of small cameras, picked up a couple lamps and lamp shades, and with a drill, some super glue, a little bit of cardboard, and electric tape, I constructed 2 hidden camera lamps.

He's smart enough to realize there's an issue here, but I don't think he got any legal advice (or got bad advice) when he decided a standard form release would do the job:

Of course to make sure everything was legally kosher, everyone was required to sign and fax back an appearance release waiver before an interview was scheduled. The reason, “some company meetings will be filmed and we needed proof you'd be comfortable appearing on a video blog if hired.”

Two problems here: First — although I suppose it's an issue of state law where it happened — the release for filming “company meetings” seems unlikely to stretch to job interviews. Not to mention FAKE job interviews.

Second, seeing as the company was fake, even if the release was otherwise valid and applicable, why isn't this a case of a release procured by fraud, which is therefore invalid?

I think he's a lot better at giving interview advice than making legal judgments. Most of his advice about what to do and what to avoid actually seems quite sound.

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One Response to How To Nail an Interview (And Flub a Research Project)

  1. Brautigan says:

    Hell, most of this sound alot less unethical than 99% of standard corporate HR policy does these days.

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