Originally Posted by -TW
The criteria for hiring someone's services are (in some cases) NOT this...
I see you have a 20-year track record of outrageous success.
But instead this...
I see you have a 20-year track record of outrageous success + a firm handshake (in person).
That's like judging someone on how cool their website is.
Doesn't really have any bearing on whether they can really deliver the goods (unless those goods are website building).
Basically judging on criteria that have no real bearing on the matter at hand.
Judging a book by its cover, essentially.
On the other hand, most all job interviews are ultimately done in-person -- so I see the point.
Two points come to mind...
The first is, I'm not sure how close you're going to work with these people. However, if there is to be any kind of "close" partnership, it's nice to know that there won't be any "personality clash"!
I've seen multiple times where two very highly competent people simply could not successfully work together. It's not because they were not both highly skilled and competent. Rather, it was because they simply could not get along - which led to a dysfunctional partnership!
The second point is that, sometimes people lie. Resumes, qualifications, work histories, and so on, can all be faked. The element I think you're overlooking is "trustworthiness."
I think you can get the most accurate assessment of the "trustworthiness" of a person by meeting them in person (for the reasons I mentioned in my earlier post).
While I think most people in the world are fundamentally honest, it's the 4% or so of people who are incredibly dishonest who can screw things up.
By the way, about a year or so I read the book "The Sociopath Next Door" by Martha Stout, Ph.D.
A "sociopath" does not have to be a "mass killer." Instead, a "sociopath" is technically someone who has no conscience - they'll just do what's best for themselves, even if they have to constantly lie and cheat to do so. "Sociopaths" are very hard to spot, and generally blend very well into society. They're good at lying and cheating, since that's how they've lived their whole lives - they've had a lot of practice.
According to Martha Stout, about 4% of people are sociopaths.
You may not necessarily spot a sociopath by meeting them in person, but I think your chances may be better than if you didn't meet at all.
(If you want to know how to spot a sociopath, Martha Stout's book tells you what clues to look for. One of them, which surprised me, was that a very common trait of sociopaths is to constantly seek pity from others. Why? Because, if people pity them, it is a way that they can control those who pity them. People can easily be manipulated to do "favors" for the sociopath, out of pity. One of the suspected-sociopaths I used to know [as this person is no longer in my life] used pity extensively, always claiming to be ill, or financially poor, or mistreated by friends and family. However, I eventually found out that most of these claims were lies, which were said in order to gain pity. Through pity, this person could then easily manipulate others to perform lots of favors - like buy things, run errands, and so on.)