Are You Using Shortcuts/Shorthand for Decisions?

I’m having an email conversation with someone who’s trying to hire some developers. He said, “For some reason, I think that developer who is comfortable in Lisp can take on any project, because I do know Lisp, and I feel that I can take on any project :)”

Unfortunately, I don’t buy the transitive property when it comes to developers (or testers or managers or anyone). I may be prejudiced for people with certain backgrounds, as my colleague is for Lisp developers, but that doesn’t mean you can assume that the candidate will be successful in your environment. You still need to ask behavior-description questions and use auditions to see and hear if the candidate can be successful.It’s easy for us to allow our prejudices to get in the way of our interviewing. Examine your assumptions, and know whether you’re using shortcuts (“A Lisp developer is always good”) or shorthand (“A BS in Computer Science is always good”) to make your decisions.

Shortcuts without verifying how the person works, and shorthand –those assumptions about the requirements of the job — don’t provide you information about the candidate or the role. Make sure you know the role you need filled and whether or not this candidate can fulfill that role.

Leave a Reply