Many hiring decisions come down to a personality match/company culture fit/gut feeling/etc. 500 people applied for the job, through resume filtering software, online assessments, and 15 minute phone screens – you make it to the final 10 candidates. At this point, any of the 10 candidates can do the job (ie. they have the skills and intelligence to do the job) – now is the time where the hiring process becomes very subjective. Introducing the Airport Test.
The Airport Test is when the hiring manager considers how he/she would envision being stuck in an airport with the candidate. Think of O’Hare airport in July, with late afternoon thunderstorms rolling in. Would the candidate be an enjoyable traveling partner to have during that difficult time? Would the manager pretend to be asleep to avoid engaging in conversation with this individual?
So how does one prepare for the Airport Test; simply put – I believe you cannot prep for this. Be your “professional” self in the interview. This will give the hiring manager a better sense of who you are than if you try to be someone else…because if you try to be a different person than who you are and you are hired into the firm, they are expecting you to be that other person.
Remember, the Airport Test works both ways – think, would you want to be stranded in an airport with some of the individuals with whom you interviewed? If not, be sure to examine if this employer is a good match for you.