Great Credentials and Interview, But Still Sucks?

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MEGAN MCARDLE: Interviews are a remarkably bad way to predict job performance. Why are we still doing them?

For the same reasons that Hollywood makes 150 million dollar cast of stars blockbusters that tank on opening night because they’re so awful. It’s called covering your ass.

They producer tells his investiors and bosses, “Hey. I put together a great package with tops stars and a billboard director. What more could I do?”

Oh, I dunno. Check to see if the movie itself isn’t repulsively, stupidly horrible?

Same with HR departments: “Hey, the guy had a degree degree in Critical Race Theory from Harvard, and his interview was wonderful. What more could I do?”

Well, you could understand that the skills needed to get credentials, and the skills involved in giving a good interview (which are basically, in both cases, the skills needed to run a good con) don’t predict future performance in any meaningful way.

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About Bill Quick

I am a small-l libertarian. My primary concern is to increase individual liberty as much as possible in the face of statist efforts to restrict it from both the right and the left. If I had to sum up my beliefs as concisely as possible, I would say, "Stay out of my wallet and my bedroom," "your liberty stops at my nose," and "don't tread on me." I will believe that things are taking a turn for the better in America when married gays are able to, and do, maintain large arsenals of automatic weapons, and tax collectors are, and do, not.


Great Credentials and Interview, But Still Sucks? — 1 Comment

  1. At least in the programming and engineering fields, the uselessness of interviews has been known for at least three decades. In these fields, the personality types which are most effective on the job tend to do poorly in the interviews.

    Decades ago, someone researched the correlation of several hiring criteria against job performance in the software field. Face-to-face job interviews scored very poorly, with something like 10% correlation between “interviewed well” and “worked well”. A straightforward IQ test had the highest correlation, nearly 50%.

    But of course we can’t do IQ tests in the US. They show disparate results based on race and sex. As for why we continue to use useless measures like interviews and checking references which were carefully selected by the candidate, I’m sure part of it is CYA to either bosses or the government. The other part, I’m sure, is job protection by the recruiting department. “Of course we’re essential. You don’t have time to make all those calls and set up the flight and hotel reservations, so you need us around to take care of that for you.”

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