8 ways in which the poker table is perfect for a group interview

We are ten people sitting in the middle of a room. Sneeze. I apologize. You hear the echo. I look at the lamp. The curtains are purple, my favorite color. They could cover a football field.

I see a woman crossing the room gliding with the grace of a swan. And here we are, ten ducks waiting for us to get their heads cut off.

We are surrounded by a group of people with lab coats and notebooks in their hands, biting the pencils. Have not they fed them? I feel that the pencils pistols that are aimed at us. The shooter closes an eye and acts as if he were pulling the trigger.

Or has it been stress that created this illusion to erase from my mind the fact that there is no table?

Is this a job interview?

I am at Cranfield University, doing various job interview of the process a selection. The winners are given a permanent job. The rest will have to tell their women, husbands, mothers and fathers that they are not good enough. And all that worries me is that there is not a table.

We are 2008, the United Kingdom is in the midst of the economic crisis. I am the Production Manager Area of ​​a railway logistics company. Nobody buys steel We have to cut expenses to be in line with the low income. The CEO replaces all the managers of the company and sends us to Cranfield to pass a selection process.

I’m from the old school.

For me, a selection process is an interview with a person.

There are two rules: we are only two in the room and there is a table between us.

There is no table here

And we are ten.

Welcome to the world of group interviews.

“We started,” says the one who was more elegant.

And we did that.

We discussed the price of a brand of sunscreen called Bronze Glow while the elegant scribbled notes on their papers.

When you think about them, interviewing in a group is more efficient. It would be ten times slower in the traditional way. I also like the way they observe our behavior in this environment. At first it was strange, but after a while you forget that they are there.

And this made me think.

Would not it be great if companies invited ten people to a selection process and saw them play texas hold em poker ? They should make sure that everyone knows how to play. They would begin by explaining the rules and distributing the cards.

What would you discover?

I have been in contact with the professional player and writer, Reid Young, and this is what he has told me:

“Poker and business have to do with context, knowledge, patience, aggression and self-control.”


“If the player has done his homework before the game for which he knows he will determine the position in the company, then I know that person can be of more value to me than to a person who has not studied because he thinks he was not going to get the job. work. The ability to learn and adapt to situations is key in poker and business. “


“There are moments to be aggressive and moments to be passive. Understanding the difference between the value of aggressiveness and the value of passivity can be the key, especially in emotional confrontations at the poker table or in business. “

Self control

The ability to connect with a variety of different personalities is critical, both in business and in poker. It is also an advantage to be able to communicate effectively in different ways. Reid talks about the importance of posture which is an effective way to use the body to communicate, but also to realize how players interact verbally.


In this game there is only one winner. Who will win and what will be your reaction? Who will lose and what will be their reaction? I would not hire the winner just because he won. But he would be interested to see how he stands out as the leader of the group and finally wins. Are they arrogant or humble? Do they shrug or hit the table? How do they react to bad beats and eliminations? All these factors are extremely important for emotional control in poker and business.

So there are eight different aspects that both Reid Young and myself will look for if we use the poker table for a group interview.

Now it’s your turn.

What aspects of a poker game do you think could be useful in your company?

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