I have been in my fair share of interviews in my life within the quality arena, on both sides of the table. Every time I am intrigued by the questions used to determine how qualified one is to be in a quality role. In my current role, I evaluate consultant skills and assist clients through interviewing consultants to assess their fitness for use. While many approaches are taken, and many questions asked; I would like to discuss the question I find most fascinating.
So, how many audits have you done?
An interesting concept, using the number of audits one has performed to determine the fitness of an auditor. On paper, this makes incredible sense. It’s even a value one can make into a great spreadsheet for upper management to compare across candidates. It can quantify qualified from unqualified simply by choosing a number, and then rejecting all applicants without the specified number of audits. In a world of science, simple analytical answers are ideal. Unfortunately, science has rarely given us simple analytical outputs without incredibly complex inputs.
I haven’t decided if I’m impressed by individuals who know this number by heart, or alarmed. I’m also not completely sure if I believe them. Not they are being deceitful; rounding carries its own flaws. But assuming an individual can actually answer this question on the spot with complete accuracy, what does it really tell you?