It used to be common practice to ask a promising candidate out to dinner – or observe him or her in situations outside of the interview room. This would enable the `host’ or prospective employer to make inferences on the validity of the C.V. The dinner would also offer insight into the ability of the candidate to form relationships.
The prospective employer would also be able to observe the manner in which peas were eaten. (On the knife or off the knife.)
Did the candidate wait for grace?
Did the candidate offer to officiate at the ceremony of the grace?
Was grace deemed to be necessary?
Did the candidate sit before the host or after the host?
Was there small talk or did the conversation immediately revolve around the job and its prospects?
Did the candidate appreciate that the social situation of the dinner may be far removed from the niceties of holding down a responsible job?
Suppose that some of our eleven plus candidates were put into the same position.
Do you advise your child to order pizza – because that is the flavour of the month?
Should you suggest that your child order the fish soup – in the hope of looking genteel?
Does your child order a coke or a glass of sparking water?
Should the conversation revolve around your child’s accomplishments – or those of the interviewer?
Does your child adopt an obsequious manner – or try to dominate the conversation?
Does your child leave three or four peas on the plate to demonstrate an appreciation of social niceties?
Would you want your child to go to a school that wanted more than high scores on multiple choice tests?