Detecting How Candidates Have Learned

Dave Smith said,

One thing I see little of in resumes, but which pops out in a positive way when I do see is, is acknowledgment of past failure, with evidence that the candidate learned something from it, or at least walked away with motivation to improve.

.I’ve been thinking about what to suggest. I agree that if candidates could somehow say what they’ve learned and could show people who read their resume what they’ve learned, the resume reading experience would be richer for all concerned. I’m not sure how to directly show that.One technique I have used is during the behavior-description question part of the interview is to ask people to contrast techniques and practices. Here’s what I mean for a variety of positions:

“Tell me about a time you used pair programming (or peer review or some other collaboration technique). What happened? (listen to the story) What did you learn? Then ask some of these: Would you do that again? Why/why not? Would you use something else instead?

For testers, ask about test techniques. For project managers, ask about lifecycle selection, or getting status, or facilitating meetings, or whatever’s important to you.Each manager will want to detect different learnings. I don’t quite see how a candidate can put those learnings into a resume that stays a suitable size. If you do know how, please comment.

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