A Second Chance Audition

John Cook pointed me to this gem: a second look – generosity 3. It’s the story of a fake audition that was dissatisfactory and how another real audition helped the author get a great job.

Avoid those fake auditions. People don’t perform as well as they would in more real circumstances.

3 Replies to “A Second Chance Audition”

  1. Avoid fake auditions? Hmmm…

    I’ve just helped a client develop some auditions for prospective new team members, whether new hires or not. It’s for a fledgling practice in Agile software development in a large organization that’s mostly not familiar with Agile, and has varying degrees of understanding where people are familiar. We’ve got auditions for Product Owner Proxies, Scrummasters, and Developers. And they are, you guessed it, fake auditions.

    For the auditions, we’ve posited a fairly simple business situation for a hypothetical company. All of these start with the premise that a few example stories are completed. From that point, PO proxies are asked to come up with some new stories, given a picture of what we want to release, Scrummasters are asked to identify some possible impediments and suggest courses of action, given some information about the fictitious sprints, and the Developers are asked to develop some more stories, building on the existing code.

    We work with each candidate, playing roles as appropriate but mostly having team members play themselves in this hypothetical company. We look not only for skill at the task, but skill working with others.

    Are we doing them a disservice by using this sort of fake audition? And what might be a better way to see how people not used to an Agile team might take to being on one?

    In this particular case, we’re somewhat constrained by HR. They want the audition contents to be the same for all candidates. They want the criteria for evaluating the audition to be the same for all candidates. They don’t want any potentially proprietary information to be revealed. And in the case of the developer audition, they don’t want the work of anyone not hired to be used in a real project. I understand all of their concerns, but are we therefore making it unreasonable for the candidate?

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