June 09, 2017

We’ve all had cringeworthy interview experiences: accidentally showing up late, flubbing answers or struggling with unexpected questions. And it turns out, these interview nightmares might not have been necessary. Research shows that job interviews, at least the way they’re normally done, aren’t helpful in picking good employees. And they might actually be counterproductive. We talk about it with Jason Dana, an assistant professor of management and marketing at Yale University. 

Three Takeaways: 

  • The most ineffective kind of interview is also probably the most common: the “unstructured,” get-to-know-you interview we’ve all been through. 
  • In Dana’s study, students interviewed other students and predicted their GPAs. Some students gave truthful answers, and some gave random answers. Then the interviewers had to rate how well they got to know the interviewees, and Dana says the interviewees who gave random answers were rated “just as high or higher as … the accurate interviewees.” 
  • Some alternatives to the dreaded interview: have a candidate do a task in front of the interviewer to see how they perform. Or evaluate past projects the candidate has worked on, instead of just sitting and chatting. 

More Reading: 

Culture, interviews, Dana

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