I'm not a big fan of job interviews – from either side of the desk. They're a false construct because everyone is on their best behaviour. As an applicant, how do you know if you'll like the work environment and the people? If you're interviewing candidates, how can you tell who will work best with the team and do a good job? You don't and you can't.
Until someone is doing the job, there's no true way to know if they're a fit. Which is why FlightCaster cofounder Jason Freedman doesn't interview potential employees. He hires them instead.
He doesn't hire them full-time, but as contract workers so he can see how well they, well, work. He pays them a contractor's fee to complete a defined project over the course of a few weeks, and if he's happy, they have a job.
I love this idea, and think that magazines are particularly well-suited to the practice. Hire an editor to handle some stories and work through production, and you'll know by the end of it if they're worth bringing on full time. And it gives them a chance to determine if they want to work for you.
What do you think? Would you try it? Would you do away with interviews?