Re: Agency and interviewing questions

Subject: Re: Agency and interviewing questions
From: Beth Mazur <mazur -at- MAYA -dot- COM>
Date: Mon, 9 Dec 1996 15:04:59 -0500

At 2:45 PM 12/9/96 -0500, Roger Morency wrote:
>Pick a task that will take an hour or less to document. You, as the
>interviewer, doubles as the SME. This precess reveals a lot about the
>candidate, such as:

>1) Does s/he ask about a style guide?
>2) Does s/he ask intelligent questions about the task?
>3) Does s/he work well under pressure?
>4) Did s/he document the procedure thoroughly?

>The test should not be the only criteria for evaluating the candidate, but
>you will find it to be a very effective way to weed out imposters.

One of our senior engineers uses a similar process to test human factors
specialists. He shows the candidate a software interface we have designed
and tries to elicit useful feedback to evaluate said candidate.

My feeling is that this is a good way to find candidates who can turn
out very simple documents under somewhat unrealistic pressure (yes, I realize
that there is pressure on the job). I'm just not sure that it translates
into a statistically valid predictor of job performance. But then,
I've often felt like interviews are like the SATs. In some cases, good
candidates perform well and bad candidates perform badly. But in some other
cases, good candidates perform badly and vice versa.

While I'm on the subject,

At 2:25 PM 12/9/96 +0000, Rick Lippincott wrote:

[A colleague worked for the government on classified stuff.]

>So, sometimes there are perfectly good and legitimate reasons for not
>producing a writing sample upon request.

You mean that the person has never written *anything* outside the work
setting? If I were in that situation, I'd pick something poorly written
and re-write it. After all, all the employer is looking for is a *sample,*
not necessarily War and Peace.

Beth Mazur
mazur -at- maya -dot- com

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