Mere hours after writing about the "slowness" of the process, Ken Rosenthal comes through by progressing the story of the Astros managerial search.
Sources: #Astros have talked to at least five managerial candidates by phone: Ebel, Hinch, Lovullo, D. Martinez, Wakamatsu.— Ken Rosenthal (@Ken_Rosenthal) September 24, 2014
All those names have both been mentioned before and fit the criteria laid out by the team earlier this month. Dino Ebel has managed in the minors and been a bench coach in Anaheim. A.J. Hinch and Don Wakamatsu have both been major league managers before while Martinez and Lovullo are currently bench coaches.
This also could be a way the Astros avoid the problem of the playoffs. If they talk on the phone, the Astros could get most of the interview things out of the way and eliminate some of the competition. It also gives the candidates a chance to discuss the organization and decide if they want to move forward with the process.
But, here's my biggest question about the process. With modern technology, why should an in-person interview be anything but a formality at the end of the process? Sure, there's something to be said for being on the ground in an organization.
But, with Skype and other video teleconferencing technologies, couldn't someone like Wakamatsu just carve out an hour or two in his morning to interview while traveling with the Royals? Couldn't he FaceTime with Jeff Luhnow or Reid Ryan at various points over the next week to get the same questions answered?
I've done my share of interviews on both sides of the table. It's much easier to conduct a good one when you can see another person. But, if you can do the interview while seeing someone else, how much more of a benefit is there from bringing them into one place?
I don't have a definite answer on this, just thinking out loud. What do you think? Do any of you have experience conducting job interviews over video conference? What are the pitfalls of something like that?