The Ski Chair Lift Interview
I recently took a ski trip to Grand Targhee (remote place in Wyoming) where I spent many hours over a few days on skis and several minutes on ski chair lifts with people I know well and random people I did not know at all. Riding on a ski chair lift with someone new and random is a different way to get to know people. Here are few interactions I experienced...
--A guy from Boston, has 2 young children, he and his wife just sold their Salt Lake City ski home because the taxes tripled. They ski and boat often. My take away is this guy has money and is all about having a good time.
--A woman from Colombia skis the beginner hill while her husband and kids hit the big hills. She mostly skis alone and does not care because she has a blast skiing. My take away is that she sounds confident and independent.
- A different woman well into her 60s is afraid of heights and speed, but lives nearby the resort and purposely puts herself on skis and steep hills to overcome her fear of heights and speed. She sounds driven to overcome challenges.
-A father/son combo does an annual ski trip to the same resort and now they have grandkids and kids and bigger families. Been doing the same resort and ski trip for years. These people value tradition.
-A guy in his twenties went snowboarding alone between his graduate school work. He did not care that he was alone and just wanted to be out there. We met on the chair lift on one of the coldest and windiest days. This guy has a work hard, play hard mindset. Being alone on a chair lift can be peaceful too (click through to see pic).
Imagine taking a candidate on ski chair lift ride. Imagine what the conversation will bring if you only have 5 or 10 minutes with no interruptions. OR Imagine how deep the conversation can get if you were with someone on a ski chair lift ride you already know well. Either way, you walk away with a deeper sense of trust in each other than you had before the ride up the mountain.
Most likely you will not have the time or chance to bring a candidate on a ski chair lift ride, but think about different ways to interview and spend time with people. It will give you a deeper look at what makes them tick and how they will fit into your culture scene at work.