Thursday, May 30, 2013

Job Hunters: Job simulations are replacing standard interview questions

I've long advocated that employers use job simulations as a key tool for deciding whom to hire. The practice is taking off, including firms that corporations hire to create such simulations. One, HireArt, was touted recently in Thomas Friedman's New York Times column. Another, HireVue, was profiled in this month's Forbes.

Adam Grant, a currently hot employment guru wrote this, providing the intellectual underpinnings for replacing interviews with assessments. He particularly touts instruments that assess drive. 

The message to jobseekers: Especially if you're applying to large companies, be sure you're applying for jobs where you can demonstrate the skills to do the job  and not just try to get by with slick resume and cover letter language, and canned answers to standard interview questions like, "Tell me a problem you solved."


Serge said...

I tested this first hand back in 2009 or 2010 right after getting my associate level accounting degree.First I solved a practical problem in excel at home well enough to get invited to the interview. But there I was presented with a much more difficult problem. And under time pressure I bombed it. In fact I even did mediocrly on a theoretical quiz about accounting principles despite knowing those terms before and my nearly 4.0 GPA in accounting. To top it all I was interviewed by four people at the round table. I was like a deer under the headlights! I came home very depressed since I couldn't just attribute the failure on lack of interviewing skills. I had to come to terms with the fact that I was too slow for that type of job, despite my three college diplomas with an A average. I had to look for work I can do at home under less social and time pressure.

Marty Nemko said...

That's an example of the so many ways that school success does not predict work or life success very well.

Yes, self-employment is often wise for people who pace to a different drummer.

ST said...

Part of it, though, is that you are under a lot of pressure in the job interview and if hired, you would have done alright after a short ramping up period.

I went on this type of interview too, and after spending days on an in-home assignment, I interviewed about 6 people, answered problem-solving and technical questions, and gave a presentation on my homework. I'm not sure why I didn't get the job, because as usual, they covered their butts by not giving out ANY feedback, just that they've went to other candidates.

I had the opportunity to interview several people for the same job I did, so I researched a lot of the "brain-teaser" type questions used in job interviews, and adapted them to the software tool we used. Even the people we ended up hiring didn't do so well on them. But, I had the advantage, because I knew the answers (and had done the problems on my own with less pressure and more time). So, the hires ended up being a combination of their personality, background, and ability to at least approach the brain teasers (I wasn't the only person interviewing them).


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