Moving Past Interviews

The way businesses are using interviews makes them useless. Now that I have your attention, let me explain my extreme blasphemy against conventional business practices. Interviews, though they have their upsides, are woefully inadequate at helping an employer get a good feel for how their candidate will actually perform. For that matter, it’s not even a good way to get an idea about their personality.
I want you to open another tab in whatever browser you’re using and google ‘interview questions.’ I’ll tell my editors not to take down this blog while you’re doing that. Are you back? Good.

Notice how most of the top articles on Google are about the most common interview questions and what the kind of answers employers like to hear in response? Everybody knows how crucial interviews are to the hiring process and they’re constantly seeking an edge in that competition. That’s why there are volumes of books about doing well on your interview, blogs about ways to answer interview question, and tons of additional content about what employers like and dislike. That should demonstrate a very important point; people are trying to game their interviews and, as far as I can tell, it’s working. Even without resorting to lying or embellishing, it is trivially easy to learn how to speak and answer questions in a way that inspires confidence in a prospective employer.

I mentioned earlier that interviews can have positives; they let hiring managers get a feel for an applicant’s personality and group interviews can give a first glimpse of how a prospective hire will fit into a team. But businesses rely on interviews too much. Interviews should be one tool in the arsenal of a company hunting for talent and any company that sees them as the be all, end all for the hiring process is doing themselves a disservice. What’s the alternative to interviews then? I’m glad you asked.