IT Employment

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Is current interview format old-fashion?

By wlack2000 ·
You can prove your technical skills with certs and/or past expereinces. But how could an employer know whether you are a team player and your attitude toward the job (things like these) simply through a 45 minutes interview? People can lie about who they are or they just kowtow the employer in order to get the job.

So my question is how to hire someone efficiently? I found it's too hard to figure out what the interviewer thinks about you. They nod at what you say all the time. But do they really agree every word? It's sort of making an interview like some fake reality show.

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Its an Art!

by TheChas In reply to Is current interview form ...

The interview process is an art.

When I have been in a hiring decision position, I have been fairly good at seeing through the fakes.

Developing the questions that matter most to your decision is the critical part of the art.

While it is not more efficient, there is a way around bad decisions from the interview process.

If you start all new employees as contract workers through a staffing service, you can "try-out" the employee without the risks that come with a full hire.

On the flip side, if you use staffing firms, you will loose many good employees when the job market is strong. As they will not want to risk their steady job for a chance at the job you are offering.

At the company I work for, we put candidates through the mill!
We start with a 2 hour written test.
Should the candidate pass the test, they go through an interview process that can involve 5 separate interviews.
After the interviews, they then face an 8 hour "practical" test putting their skills to use.

Needless to say, it can take us months to find a "qualified" candidate.


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Behavioural interviewing

by JamesRL In reply to Its an Art!

There are many good books about the subject, but the idea is to ask the candidate questions which would uncover how they think and react.

Questions include things like: " Tell me about a time when you had to deal with an angry customer" and "Tell me about a time when you had to build a team".

These questions often reveal attitudes and approaches which can help predict future behavior. You then have to judge whether that person's behavior is a good fit for your organization.


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Holy cow!

by jkaras In reply to Its an Art!

10 hrs of testing? for all levels of support? Did you pay higher than scale? Is pay determined on success of test scores? I understand the need for quality employees but 10 hrs investing in determining quality is a bit extreme. Usually through basic questions you can determine someone's expertise or their thought process. Everyone has strengths and weaknesses on varying subjects. What topics do you test? I'm not bagging on your system of hiring, but I'm really curious if its really about seeing how serious is the applicant on wanting the job or a test on competency? When first informed about the rigors of testing do they decline or accept the terms generally? Very interesting system.

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Utterly ridiculous

by TomSal In reply to Its an Art!

I must agree with the other poster..10 hours is way on the extreme overboard side of things.

The ONLY way I'd feel otherwise if it is for a high level position that bears the weight of enormous responsiblity and likewise has a high salary to compensate for such a demanding position.

My own company will put "special" interview process together for executive level employees and that generally lasts two days. The initial interview, a written test and then if they are "good enough" they are called back for another interview. But even this lasts no were close to 10 hours.

We had a long hiring process about a year and a half ago, and it was ALMOST as bad as the 10 hour grill session presented in this thread. Ours was about 7 hours. It involved the person being interviewed by between 4 and 6 different folks, depending on the position. Well the committee I am on reviewed some stats on productivity, costs, quality of new hires, etc. and we basically said "this is stupid". We got rid of the long hiring process. Now only "unique" (aka "higher level") positions get the grill and even that is modified from 7 hours.

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Should have been a little more specific

by TheChas In reply to Utterly ridiculous

Looking back at my prior post, I should have been a bit more specific.

All technical level staff are required to pass the written test prior to any interview.

There are 3 levels of the written test for progressively higher skilled tasks.

In the department that I am in, we build custom equipment from scratch.
The extra 8 hour skills test is used to verify that candidates actually have the skills to perform.

Over 90% of our applicants do not make it past the written test.
I estimate that over 20% leave without completing the test.


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Only Desperate Need Apply

by worker bee In reply to Should have been a little ...

I hope you mention all the hoops you want prospective employees to jump though in your help wanted ads. I personally would have to be pretty hard up for a job before I would allow myself to be put through this meat grinder.

The great thing about contract work is not having to put up with this garbage. In contract work it is all about getting the work done and only about getting the work done. This interview process sound more like some fraternity hazing ritual than a serious attempt to find good employees.

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Still seems absurd.

by VinceLyons In reply to Should have been a little ...

If someone has certifications they've already played the test game.

Technical knowledge and the abillity to pass a barage of tests does not prove work habits or ethics. It does not relate to real world.

My opinion is that if you've gone that far borw beating a candidate and still gotten someone worthwhile you either pay lotto-like wages or you've been very lucky. I think I would want the people who walked away, people with sensitive BS meters can be of great value.

In my former life I was a Parts Department Manager for a high-line car dealership. Whenever I would hire entry level for my department I did use a short test process. I created a small text and test on the part numbering and inventory system system we used. One question was really off the wall and did not have the answer in the text. The candidate that stood up from the table and walked over to me and said "Excuse me, but there's a problem here I need help with, I don't see the answer in the text..." always got the job.

I never wanted people who could pass the test, I wanted people who weren't affraid to say they didn't know someting and didn't mind seaking the person with the answer.

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by ND_IT In reply to Its an Art!

This must be the "Ivy League" of the workforce. Just because a person graduates from an Ivy league school or passes a certain amount of tests doesn't always mean they will be a good quality worker. Most employers that I have talked to look for one thing the most, communication skills, both written and verbal. Even in today's market where employers are asking for every skill in the book, these qualifications rank right at the top.

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It always comes down to people skills

by DC_GUY In reply to Is current interview form ...

A capable, experienced manager should have developed very good people skills by the time they are given the responsibility of interviewing prospective employees. Being able to decide in real time what questions will elicit the most revealing answers, as mentioned above, is a big part of that. So is being able to read body language etc. to spot a fraud. So is knowing that they won't be right 100 percent of the time and being able to live with that.

A ten-hour gauntlet of tests is outrageous. Even government job applications aren't that off-putting. Frankly I would be cautious about taking a job at that place because the first impression they make on you is that they don't have a clue as to how to manage processes effectively. What do you suppose it would be like having to work for those people?

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One of the best

by TheChas In reply to It always comes down to p ...

Despite the hiring gauntlet, the company I presently work for is one of the best companies I have ever worked for.

Once an employee makes it through their probation period, they are allowed to function very independently.

Even when we had over 100 openings, we waited until we found the "right" candidates.

It is a stated goal that we only hire individuals from the top 5%.


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