Why Interviews are deeply flawed

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Interviews are deeply flawed
Interviews are deeply flawed

Interviews are Deeply Flawed

The article Why Interviews Are Deeply Flawed is by regular reader Digital Man in response to one of our articles.

Imperfect Interviews

Interviews are inevitably imperfect.

Anecdotal evidence suggests that they select the best candidate for the job on only 1 in 5 occasions.

Technical interviews are often as described in the article.

Some technical interviews are good. It all depends on how skilled the interviewers are. However, most interviews are deeply flawed.

They can also be somewhat hit-and-miss re: whether you get the job or not. I’ve had interviews where I’ve correctly answered fewer than half the questions and got the job.

I had one where I correctly answered 23 out of 25 and failed to land the job.

Technical Recruitment

One big flaw in the technical recruitment process is the widespread lack of attempts at determining whether candidates can write readable, maintainable code or to test generic programming competence.

As someone who’s done more than their fair share of maintenance programming it seems that the majority of programmers are unable to write readable code.

Lack of specific knowledge is not as important as recruiters seems to think.

Attitude, willingness to learn and to do things properly are far more important.

Facing Reality

Nevertheless, we have to face reality as it is. The fact is that we are going to face tests.

The best thing to do is to try to find out in advance (if possible) what area the technical test focuses on.

For example, if it’s going to be a generic C++ test, then whip out a C++ text-book and go back to basics.

You may not use, say, operator overloading very much in your day-to-day work.

If not, go back and relearn it.

Interviews are flawed but the successful contractor understands this and plays the game. If you understand the game you understand the ‘plays’ in the game and you can use them to your advantage.

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