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Jenny
02-09-2012, 05:50 PM
We've had many discussions here about the hiring process, with great contributions from those who do the interviewing/hiring and those who have been through the process. Here's an interesting article that suggests that most organizations are doing it wrong.

Why interviews are a lousy way to judge candidates (http://www.theglobeandmail.com/report-on-business/careers/management/management-advice/why-interviews-are-a-lousy-way-to-judge-candidates/article2331584/)


... managers are consistently overconfident in their ability to identify the best candidates using a job interview. We cling to the fanciful notion that we can perfectly predict future job performance, despite overwhelming evidence against it. We all want to believe that we are good judges of character, yet we do not bother to collect the evidence we would need to test that belief. Rather, we rely on gut intuitions about whom to hire.

I must say though that while the writer has pinpointed a problem, I'm not big on his solution of trying to make the process more measurable.

Thoughts?

Bostonfan
02-09-2012, 06:09 PM
My company have utilized structured interviews for years. It forces the candidates to draw on past experience from their professional and/or personal life rather than answer hypotheticals based on what they think the interviewer wants to hear. It's harder for people (IMO) to make-up a lie on the spot if the question requires them to tell you a specific example from their past experience. It's easier to catch them in a lie too.

We don't do IQ tests. For some industries, it might make sense to do one. We require a writing sample since providing written narratives is a big part of the job. It's astonishing to me how poorly some people spell or the amount of grammatical errors that I read from a simple writing sample.

The biggest joke in our hiring process is the behaviorial test that asks dumb questions like, "Do you think it's OK to steal office supplies?" Of course everyone aces that section. It's pointless.

DarrellH
02-09-2012, 06:18 PM
Interviews are fine. It's the Swimsuit and Evening Wear portions that can be tricky!:D

overedge
02-09-2012, 07:16 PM
Cynical me sees this article as the writer finding an excuse to promote his research. Cynical me also says that MBA students interviewing each other to predict who will do well on the midterm is not even close to being a reliable replication of the conditions/expectations of a job interview. Ironic when the writer is complaining about the lack of reliability of hiring tests in the real world.

IMHO the real world problem is not the lack of reliability of hiring measures, but the politicking and the "like hires like" mentality in hiring that leads people to overlook the useful information that *does* come out of hiring tests and candidate assessments.

modern_muslimah
02-09-2012, 07:18 PM
I must say though that while the writer has pinpointed a problem, I'm not big on his solution of trying to make the process more measurable.

Thoughts?

I actually like his solution. I've always thought interviews were biased towards extroverted, sociable types. As an introvert, I've always felt at a distinct disadvantage in the interview process. I think making the process more measurable will help a lot in negating that bias.

Jenny
02-09-2012, 07:34 PM
Cynical me sees this article as the writer finding an excuse to promote his research. Cynical me also says that MBA students interviewing each other to predict who will do well on the midterm is not even close to being a reliable replication of the conditions/expectations of a job interview. Ironic when the writer is complaining about the lack of reliability of hiring tests in the real world.

Agree - I think he's right about the problem, but he started to lose me with his solution. As a researcher, of course he's going to advocate a process that has few variables and is measurable.


I actually like his solution. I've always thought interviews were biased towards extroverted, sociable types.

What he doesn't really address, other than saying that intelligence tests are applicable to most jobs (and even that I question), is that different jobs don't just require different skill sets (which he does acknowledge), but different interview styles (which he does not).

Many jobs do require a lot of interaction, whether with coworkers, suppliers, customers or others, and therefore, how a person presents themselves in an interview can be hugely important. Maybe it doesn't equate to how they will perform long term (his hypothesis, which I agree with to an extent), but it does tell you a lot about how they'll do on a sales call, dealing with a new customer, or working with a diverse range of colleagues.

snoopy
02-09-2012, 07:44 PM
My company have utilized structured interviews for years. It forces the candidates to draw on past experience from their professional and/or personal life rather than answer hypotheticals based on what they think the interviewer wants to hear. It's harder for people (IMO) to make-up a lie on the spot if the question requires them to tell you a specific example from their past experience. It's easier to catch them in a lie too.

We do this - we call it STAR. Situation, Task, Action, Result. We present the situation and ask for an example related to that situation that presents the task performed, the action taken and the result.

The one major work around that candidates use is to give examples performed by their co-workers instead of themselves. We have used STAR for a long time, so people know the drill - so it is possible to lie when you know how the interview will be structured and are a little creative with it.

PrincessLeppard
02-09-2012, 07:59 PM
The biggest joke in our hiring process is the behaviorial test that asks dumb questions like, "Do you think it's OK to steal office supplies?" Of course everyone aces that section. It's pointless.

When I worked at Kohl's, we gave that test to potential new hires. What floored me was how many people failed it. :yikes:

DarrellH
02-09-2012, 08:16 PM
My favorite question in a job interview that I faced was "If you were an animal, what would you be, and why?"

Bostonfan
02-09-2012, 08:29 PM
My favorite question in a job interview that I faced was "If you were an animal, what would you be, and why?"

I once had a Supervisor ask a candidate, "If you were a Disney character, which one would you be and why?" I don't think there was any value to it, but the answers were always entertaining.:lol:

Southpaw
02-09-2012, 08:30 PM
I'd be a kangaroo so I'd have a place to stash office supplies.

Jenny
02-09-2012, 08:33 PM
Interviews are fine. It's the Swimsuit and Evening Wear portions that can be tricky!:D


I'd be a kangaroo so I'd have a place to stash office supplies.

:rofl:

snoopy
02-09-2012, 08:33 PM
This is both on and off topic - but one thing I have consistently seen in interviews / hiring over the years is that people want to hire people like themselves. I understand this is not done consciously but it is pervasive IME.

It could be "jock" (like me), "easy-going" (like me), "white" (like me), "preppy" (like me), etc.

To me, that is the advantage of a STAR like system. It won't elminate the internal bias but I think it helps somewhat reduce it. Of course, I still have seen people override STAR for the candidate they like - or weigh certain questions more heavily that favor their "like me" candidate.

My brother's company does personality testing too - he says it works freakishly good to identify good fits. For example, if you are applying for an analyst job, you have to have the analyst personality traits as defined by this test. He has overridden it twice - both times he regretted it.

GarrAarghHrumph
02-09-2012, 09:32 PM
We don't do IQ tests. For some industries, it might make sense to do one.

Can I skip the IQ test if I give them my Mensa card?

I *really* don't think an IQ test is necessarily a good measure of who you should hire. And where are you going to draw the IQ-line, and for which jobs - and what backup do you have re: drawing those lines? What if specific groups do more poorly on IQ tests than others do - and not for reasons of intelligence? Total landmine, this one.

MacMadame
02-09-2012, 09:41 PM
We do this - we call it STAR. Situation, Task, Action, Result.
My last company did that too. Now I used whenever I go on an interview whether the interviewer asks the question that way or not. So if they say "what would you if you were in X situation", I reply with "when I worked at Y, we had a similar situation and this is what I did and how it turned out and what I would the same or differently if presented with that situation again."

I think answering this way makes you seem like a more solid candidate because it reminds them you have experience doing what they want you to do.

I don't think IQ tests tell anything about what a person is like to work with or if they have the skills to do the job and I don't think I've ever taken any test as part of the interview process that I thought was worth a damn.

I also have found that if I ignore my gut feelings about a candidate and hire them anyway, I'm always sorry because whatever I was worried about turns out to be 10x the problem I thought it would be.