Charles de Sainte Marie
Squash is probably one of the
only sports that can be used as a job interview.
Instead of sitting in a stuffy office launching questions, I like to
take the future candidate onto a squash court.
OK, there are four walls, and it can get stuffy in there (depending
on the club), but the nature of the game of squash is such that it
undresses a man, exposing his morals, his values, right down to his
Without getting too philosophical, the way someone moves to get a
ball (does he make an effort or does he slam into you, asking for a
let? A stroke even?), the shot selection and rally progression
(planning), the calling (or not) of double bounces, the accurate
calling of the score, and the general demeanour are all very clear
indicators of the way a person will conduct himself off the court.
It’s easy to be overly nice to a future boss on a squash court, some
might say. But if you make it competitive (I am definitely a firm
believer in competition!), a full hour of competitive squash will
blow away all veils and attempts at covering up what the candidate
is like on a daily basis.
Still not convinced? Here comes the most important part. The “Après
When he thinks it is all over, he feels good about having let me win
(a very unlikely scenario), or having beaten me (even less likely!),
it is time for the time honoured tradition of beer drinking. Along
with this comes the test of people-skills, and some often fail this
One beer leads to six, gloating, too many excuses, are all great
ways to make sure you will never work with me in the future.
All right, perhaps I’m way out there and this technique makes
absolutely no sense, but playing an hour of squash instead of
getting pre-fabricated answers thrown back at me in an office is
definitely a better way of managing my time.
And, I get to practice my favourite off the back, behind the back,
Philly four-wall skid boast!
like a job ???