Work is the refuge of people who have nothing better to do. : Oscar Wilde

Sunday, June 3, 2007

Kabuki Theatre and Measuring Cups

What Have They Got In Common?

On the left a scene from a kabuki theatre production; on the left a measuring cup: so what do they have in common?

According to Wikipedia, “Kabuki theatre is known for the stylization of its drama and for the elaborate make-up worn by its performers.” Measuring cups are used in cooking—of course. And, nowadays, job interviewing has become so stylised that it's really a performance art, a lot like kabuki theatre. When you consider that kabuki theatre is about as relevant to the measuring that is supposed to be going on in job interviewing as what you do with measuring cups you see the resemblance between kabuki and measuring cups. (In my opinion there isn't much.) “Standard” interviews lead cosmetic-laden applicants through heavily rehearsed performance sequences.

Here's just one point of contact: Why do interviewers ask whether the prospective employee knows something about the employer? Is it really important for them to know that the person being interviewed is sufficiently motivated to have spent at least an hour, the night before the interview, using Google to find and review the employer’s web site? Do you see what I mean?

Turn the whole thing around. If you are recruiting personnel then ask yourself what you want or need to know about employees, then think about how you might get answers to your questions.

Photo Credits:

  • Kabuki sculpture
  • measuring cup

    -- said...

    Hey Bill,

    I like (and agree with) the idea. The job search process has become political speak and marketing flash. If you can control the assumptions made of you and master the magician's art of distraction, most often you will be the successful applicant.