Interviewing vs. #GOPDebate

Tuesday night, I watched the last #GOPDebate. Some of the things that people texted me, posted on social media, and said to each other during and following the debate were about the lack of civility, the one-up-man-ship about who will be more “hard core” about ISIS with the limited and filtered info they each have available to them, and the blatant racism and misinformation that was bandied about between the candidates.

What I saw were candidates who didn’t answer questions asked of them; talked over and through not only each other, but the moderators; and spent more time attacking the incumbent and other candidates than talking about their experience or providing thoughtful answers about their intentions once they were elected.

I found myself wishing candidates were not allowed to speak free form. I found myself wishing that they were able to have one single 30-minutes segment recorded where they have to extemporaneously answer the questions asked. And then a third party (set of third parties?) pull data about their records and footage of what they have said in the past about issues and their character. And have this package presented to the voters to decide how to vote.

This morning I was thinking about how different these debates, campaigns, and conversations would be if they were treated like job interviews. At the end of the day, that’s what these are: JOB INTERVIEWS. And as someone who is currently seeking an FTE position, I am familiar with the interview process. Let me tell you what does NOT happen:

  1. I do not blatantly disrespect the person interviewing me and asking me questions in order to determine my qualifications and fit for the job.
  2. I do not get to attack and interrupt the other candidates for the position.
  3. I do not lob accusations or personally attack the position’s predecessor.

What I do get is the opportunity to submit my qualifications (resume, sometimes I also get to add the same information into an application), have my past behavior and opinions that reflect what I know and my character be reviewed (social media, references), and be present during an interview process. ~Shockingly this process works when you’re hiring your communications director.~ (#Tildes4Sarcasm)

The Presidential election, and every other political election, is an interview process we, the people, conduct to choose the best candidate to do a job. It’s time we stop treating it like the next season of TV’s Real Housewives’ reality show and like a serious interview to find the best candidate for the job.

I’d like us to respect the process as much as you would respect the process of looking for your next communications director.



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