Do you hire Jack or Jill?


The hiring manager has a dilemma.  Put yourself in their shoes.

Here is the hypothetical interview conundrum for the hiring manager looking for a worker.

Jack and Jill both applied for the water fetching job they saw on the job board. The qualifications required 5 years of pertinent experience plus proper education, references etc…

Both Jack and Jill had “strong”  interviews, looked professional and told the interviewer:

1) They spent the last 10 years fetching water.

2)     They even have fetched water up a hill.

3)     They both went to college and have liberal arts degrees from reputable schools.

4)      They both said they love fetching water.

5)     They both suggested they work really hard fetching water.

6)      They both said previous bosses, would definitely say they were really good water fetchers.

7)     Then post interview the hiring manager reviewed Google, LinkedIn & Facebook, and confirmed they both check out online. 


So, how does the hiring manager decide who to hire?  Where is the differentiation?

  • Did either candidate inquire about why the company needs water fetched?
  • Did either candidate discuss how they uniquely fetch water?
  • Did either candidate probe on the company’s water challenges and goals?
  • Did either candidate discuss alternative, efficient water fetching techniques?
  • Did either candidate ask why the company did not dig another Well?
  • Did either candidate tell the story of What if, the company built a Well on the flat area, to save energy and the personal liability insurance associated with falling on a hill?
  • What about building a pump system?


Hopefully, the point is now clear.  Interview differentiation is critical. Understanding the hiring managers goal and expressing that not only are you experienced at the task at hand, but also understand the problem, the goal and can help achieve a better future state will really resonate.  There are simply to many people competing for jobs with similar experience and qualifications.


Do you actually remember the nursery rhyme?

Jack and Jill went up the hill to fetch a pail of water.

Jack fell down and broke his crown, and Jill came tumbling after.

Up Jack got, and home did trot, as fast as he could caper,

To old Dame Dob, who patched his nob with vinegar and brown paper.


1 Response to “Do you hire Jack or Jill?”

  1. 1 Steve Kelly July 18, 2011 at 3:34 pm

    I’m doing some interviewing today and these are great points to keep in mind – for both the candidate and the hiring manager.

    If I were Jack or Jill I might not want to ask about a pump though; could put me out of a job!

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