Last week at SD, I met up with Brian Robertson of Ternary Software, a small consulting company in the Philadelphia area. They have a different approach for their first contact with a candidate: they ask candidates to fill out essays (scroll down to see the essay questions).These essay questions reflect the culture of the company. So the people who are likely to write the answers are already self-selecting the company’s culture.Not every organization can use essay questions such as these, or any essays at all. And if you do, talk to your lawyers to make sure the questions don’t discriminate against people. But I do like the idea of looking at people first, not resumes.