At the time of this writing, we’re looking to hire a new Web Support Manager at GreenMellen. We’re taking candidates through a fairly typical interview process, but speed is not a major factor in this. We certainly want to respond quickly to our clients, but if someone doesn’t have an answer to a question right away, that’s ok. They’re going to be faced with questions they can’t answer from our clients, too, and the key is whether or not they can find the right answer.
Malcolm Gladwell has talked about this topic repeatedly in podcasts and interviews, as it drives him nuts. To pass the LSAT exam and get into law school, speed is crucial. It’s a long test and you need to move quickly. But why? This is measuring how fast students are, not necessarily how smart they are. When they become a lawyer, they’ll have time to research and look things up, and their ability to ultimately come to the correct decision is what really matters most.
Malcolm sums it up this way:
When we decide who is smart enough to be a lawyer, we use a stopwatch.
That’s not to say there’s an easy answer here, as you can’t give infinite time to the test. Do you double the allotted time? Triple it? Having not gone down that road myself, it’s not something I can really answer.
I just know that if I need to hire someone that can handle rapid-fire Q&A at a conference, speed matters. For the rest of our roles, the outcome is the main thing we should be worried about.