Many Bad Hiring Practices and Alternatives

When I teach interviewing, I teach these approaches to interviewing:

  1. Let the behavior-description questions sell the candidate on the company. Don't try to “sell” the candidate on the company or the people. It sounds like a used car salesperson or a bad blind date. It leaves a bad taste in the candidate's mouth. (Yes, those are two different links.)
  2. Organize the interviews with a matrix, so that everyone knows who is asking which questions.
  3. Ask questions that relate to the job. Forget the riddles and puzzles that have nothing to do with the job.
  4. Do add auditions to the question mix, so you can see a candidate at work. I like 10-15 minute auditions as a first step.

A friend sent me this hysterical article yesterday, A Most Wonderful Opportunity, Multiple Frustrations, and More. I did not roll on the floor, but I did laugh out loud. I loved the Mt Fuji answer. If I could have answered that question with a straight face, that's how I would have loved to answer it. Of course, I would have just rolled my eyes so much, I don't think I could have.

1 thought on “Many Bad Hiring Practices and Alternatives”

  1. Ha ha! The “Mount Fuji” was pretty funny, I must admit. However, what is not funny is the completely broken interview process in the tech industry. You are so right about not asking riddles and puzzles but asking job related questions. But that is presupposing that people know what is related to one’s job. If you ask any of these bozos who employ riddles and puzzles and worse as their means to “assess” candidates, I am sure they will tell you how insightful that line of questioning really is and how they can pick out a star performer.

    I have been seeing job requirements that border on insanity. I am not sure I understand why a project manager or program manager needs to know Rails or BigData. The questions these candidates are subjected to is esoteric enough to disqualify most hardcore engineers. Then the interviewers, most of them clueless when it comes to interviewing skills, hurl irrelevant questions.

    I think this ridiculous interview process exists in high-tech industry because of the lack of real leadership. Managers are content with going to endless meetings, writing worthless emails, participating in meaningless rituals all the while trying to climb the career ladder. They are more than happy to get some crappy product out now and then. As a lot of management is the same idiots who are now calling the shots, the whole thing is perpetuating and the ridiculous getting reinforced!

    I guess that is the nature of this industry — products with short lifespan, fickle-minded customers. Now and then, somebody hits a home run and makes a ton of money. That is the driver for a lot of people.

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