How to run a job interview

From Reinventing Hiring by Dr. Todd Dewett:

In the interview, don’t discuss resumes. Resumes are fake places to take refuge. Ignore them after initial vetting when you get to the small pile of candidates.

Instead, have real conversations and make them do real work. They can’t prepare for conversations not directly tied to their resume and they can’t fake tackling real work with their potential colleagues.

Follow the lead of Nucor Steel, BMW, and many others by putting them to work discussing real issues or tinkering with real products. If you can’t afford expensive assessment centers like BMW, so what. Just sit around a table with a candidate and throw some of your work at them. See how fast they start to get it. Hire the one that gets it the fastest.

Notes:
(1) In other words, don’t ask the candidates about their capabilities, get them to demonstrate them.
(2) Note the similarity to Lou Adler’s treat job candidates as consultants, Kevin Morrill’s “explain something to me”, Jitbit’s hire them for a task, and Ryan Hoover’s look at their blog, not their resume.

11 thoughts on “How to run a job interview

  1. ‘throw some of your work at them’ and ‘hire them for a task after a very basic interview’ will test technical ability to do a specific job. Lots of candidates will succeed in this but both of these methods discount broader issues related to initiative, responsibility, cultural fit and what will make the candidate really thrive. These are much more challenging to test for.

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