Re: Giving a surprise test to interviewees?

Subject: Re: Giving a surprise test to interviewees?
From: Lee Hunter <leeghunter -at- gmail -dot- com>
To: "TECHWR-L" <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com>
Date: Thu, 17 Mar 2005 09:45:37 -0500

Adrienne wrote:

> So I'm wondering, what do those of you on this list think about springing
> a surprise test on an interviewee? Is it terribly unfair and upsetting, or
> is it a reasonable requirement?

It's fair if you give it to everyone but it could be upsetting. Some
people get very stressed by job interviews and springing a surprise
test on them may be more than they could handle.

I'm curious, though, why you think it's important to make this a
surprise. Why not just tell people they're coming in for an interview
and a brief writing test? Deliberately hiding stuff sounds like a bad
way to start off a relationship with anyone.

I recently went to what I thought was going to be an interview but
turned out to be an interview + writing test. The test was to write an
overview and procedure for a fairly complex screen. They told me to
take as long as I wanted and two hours later I turned in something
that I felt was halfway reasonable. I could have gone longer, but it
was 5:00 and everyone was leaving.

I got the job, but I was less than thrilled that I wasn't told
beforehand about the test, given that I had other things on my
schedule and that I had naively parked at a meter thinking that the
interview couldn't take more than an hour.


Lee Hunter - Technical Editor & Information Architect

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