Everything yields to diligence.
Prior to arranging the face-to-face interviews, I sent Carl several interim reports for his review and general information. He and Fred had previously vetted the Position Profile and Confidential Candidate Brief. As the primary ESP, my job was to keep the Search Chair in the loop and explain how and why each of the proposed candidates fit the criteria. If I had any concerns I also highlighted those issues. Prior to Carl meeting any of the potential candidates for the first time, each of them would already have spent three to five hours with my team—including face-to-face meetings with Michael and me—and a supplemental cross-referencing phone interview with Mark.
Carl and I flew back to Milwaukee. We were set for the second stage of face-to-face interviews with the short-list candidates Michael and I had selected following our marathon visit a week earlier. As the primary ESP on the project, I wanted to combine the benchmark interview and Search Chair interview in one meeting. I was comfortable each of the five candidates we were bringing forward could do the job and were each interested in the opportunity.
Each candidate easily met our well-defined criteria but in this case, as always, the wild card was their fit. All five candidates were so very different, personality-wise, and were each about to be questioned by a sharp and enlightened mind by anyone's standards. I was looking forward to it. ...