Careers: When HR Goes Too Far

While the streets of Madrid team with anti-globalization demonstrators, a multinational corporation pits seven candidates for a senior position through a cut-throat job selection process. The winner must be chosen by the end of the day no matter the cost.

This is the premise of a terrific Spanish movie called The Method (El Método), now in limited release (with subtitles) in the U.S.

This bold film starring Eduardo Noriega took several years to reach our shores and, after this brief distribution by Palm Pictures, will go to DVD on August 14th. The New York Times among others have compared it to Hollywood classics such as Twelve Angry Men.

Adapted from the stage, The Method mostly takes place in a conference room (with a couple of intriguing bathroom breaks); however, The Method might have been aptly called Survivor Madrid.

The candidates are put through a series of vicious tests based on the company’s “Grönholm Method,” requiring candidates to negotiate, compete, collaborate and then vote one another out of the room. No blood is spilled – this is a study of psychological violence. In the movie the MNC is portrayed as unethical – they even videotape candidates in the rest room.

Job interviews are a subject ripe for satire. In the real world it’s not unusual for corporations to put a candidate through five or more hours of tedious job interviews – often facing the same questions each time. Those of you who have experienced the horrors of an intense job selection process – and would like some validation about your feelings – this is your movie.

Rusty Weston, My Global Career • San Francisco, Ca •