Future of Talent Institute Weekly - Issue #24

Do You really Need to Interview?

The interview is the most practiced recruiter skills, the most scary experience for a candidate, and the most stressful activity for a manager.

Why are they so central to the recruitment process? What is the perceived benefit? Can they be “gamed?” Are there alternatives that might be more predictive?

Laslo Bock, formerly of Google, writes: “Interviews are a terrible predictor of performance… Many managers, recruiters, and HR staffers think they have a special ability to sniff out talent. They’re wrong… It’s a complete random mess… We found a zero relationship.” (Laszlo Bock)

We all know that there are some people who are very successful interviewees. They always make a good impression and often receive a disproportionate number of job offers. And there those who struggle with interviews, do not do well and get few offers even thought their skills are equal to those who do get offers. What makes the difference? Perhaps it is because some are extroverts and enjoy conversation and take pride in being able to influence.

Others may be more introverted and focused more on short answers that are very specific and related exactly to their skills. As recruiters are usually extroverted, they may find this style less compelling and rate the candidate lower than an extrovert.

Would artificial intelligence do a better job at screening and assessing a candidate? A.I. can analyze LinkedIn for skills, assess personality through examining social media, and ask the candidate to play a game or take a test to assess skills. Yet, when we asked over 400 recruiters in a global survey their opinion of whether or not automating screening and assessment is possible, over 92% said it is not possible. We’ll publish the complete results of this survey soon.

The articles below give a spectrum of opinion and thought on interviewing. The conclusion that I have reached is that it is a very subjective process, even when done as well as possible. There are other better ways to assess someone. The downside is that habit and tradition are strong and alternative methods are often controversial or take more time.

What is your opinion? Send your comment to kwheeler@futureoftalent.org. I’ll publish a selection in a future edition.


Talent Assessment in 10 Years?: Recruiting Strategy Thought Leader Kevin Wheeler Sounds off - Rocket-Hire

A podcast of my thinking.

Structured Interviews May Be More Valid and More Reliable - Workforce

A rundown of the two most important terms for evaluating interviews, and how to get the best evaluation.

Opinion | The Utter Uselessness of Job Interviews - The New York Times

We use them to try to “get to know” people. It doesn’t work.

Why job interviews are pointless | Life and style | The Guardian

When it comes to choosing a candidate, interviews are as much use as flipping a coin. Richard Nisbett reveals why

Job Interviews Have Become Predictable and Ineffective – Here Are 10 Ways to Change That | LinkedIn Talent Blog

Dr. Jon Sullivan makes the case for change.

Can process assessments be automated? - Computerworld (Case Study)

Researchers at the University of Southern Queensland (USQ) have built a world-first automated process assessment tool based on the international standards for IT Service Management (ITSM) and process assessment

About This Newsletter

Hand curated articles, videos, podcasts, and other media on the future of work, talent, recruitment, and learning. If you find this useful, please share on Twitter. You can always reach me at kwheeler@futureoftalent.org. I’d enjoy your comments - positive or negative. Send me an email and let me know what you think.