The Job Candidate

Let’s say you had to hire someone for a job.

So a bunch of people applied, and a few of them were especially recommended by friends and colleagues. One seems to have a pretty good resume for the position, but it’s also a really serious decision because you actually can’t fire them: it’s a permanent job.

So you’re going to take the hiring process pretty seriously, right? You want to check out their references, look into their past job performance, have a few interviews, etc.

But then someone hears about you hiring for this really important position, and says, listen, I just want you to know, this person was really terrible to me once. And then a few more people say so. You think, wow, that sounds pretty bad. I better ask the candidate about it.

So you sit down to another meeting to discuss it, and they come in hysterical and defensive and infuriated that you even asked about their past behavior or character.

Wow, you would think. I don’t know if they did it, but they sure aren’t handling this well. And discussing these kinds of issues in this kind of environment is actually very relevant to the job they’ll be having.

You’d say, I don’t think they seem very professional and composed, or like someone I want to have in this position until they retire. I think I’ll look to the next candidate.


If you remove the politics and gender and race from a situation, then you’re left with making a logical, human interpretation and moving forward in a responsible way.

He’s interviewing for a lifetime job, and his behavior is abhorrent. You wouldn’t hire that person to work for you for a MINUTE.

And you certainly wouldn’t trust them with your life.