RE: Giving a surprise test to interviewees?

Subject: RE: Giving a surprise test to interviewees?
From: "Jones, Donna" <DJones -at- zebra -dot- com>
To: "TECHWR-L" <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com>
Date: Thu, 17 Mar 2005 09:07:24 -0600

> What's the point of making it a surprise? What do you get by making
> it a surprise that you would lose by telling the candidates in advance
> that there will be a brief test, or for that matter, by sending the
> candidates the material in advance and asking them to correct it and
> bring it with them?
> Gene Kim-Eng

I think Adrienne's concern was that an interviewee can pass off someone else's work as his own. By having them do the test during the interview, you know someone's mom/spouse/friend didn't do the test. Whether it's a surprise or not doesn't phase me much, but it probably wouldn't hurt to tell the person up front, "You'll be interviewing with three people individually. They may ask you questions or have you do a short writing test."

I think having a test is a good idea. If someone is a fake, any kind of test will likely weed him out. Not everyone coming out of schools these days has a command of grammar and proper usage of the English language. Too many people write in internet abbreviations, so they can't spell or put together a coherent sentence.

If someone panics and freaks out during an interview or surprise test, do you want to hire that person? Will he operate well under pressure? Someone who I worked with in the past lost out on a job I recommended him for when he got so nervous during the interview that he started sweating profusely, babbling like an idiot, and dropping or knocking over everything he touched. The people interviewing him weren't confident that he could handle the pressure of our daily routine. He contacted me after the interview to let me know that was sure he had blown it, and he was right.

Friday's almost here. Happy day!

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