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Do I Expect Too Much of Job Candidates?

Ronen E

Problem Solver
Staff member
Super Moderator
....resume building...Spelling, Grammar, business etiquette, manners & dress etc....
Yes, it's important, but again - it's about winning the job, not about being good at it. It's the basics of the workplace mind game.
to a large degree what we speak and do is a measure of who we are
Wow. We are already very much conditioned to believe that the job interview setting is a true representation of the real setting for most jobs. It's not, unless your job is winning people over through a superficial, quick spill (sales?). Most recruiters/interviewers are not experts in identifying what kind of person is actually buried inside a stressed candidate attending a job interview, even if they (and many of us) believe so, even if their title is "professional recruiter" or "human resources specialist". That would take specific (and not a short) training; a lot of experience; and talent.

Ronen E

Problem Solver
Staff member
Super Moderator
There are many things you just can't know until it's time to actually do the job.
That's why when I recruited (engineers) my approach has been to hold a very brief interview (to get a feel for the person as a person), then let them do something that resembled the actual role. They were allocated a work station with an Internet connection and the basic SW (Word, Excel), given some tasks which they had to do some online research in order to tackle, given access to our professional library (paper books), encouraged to ask questions / discuss blockages, and given as much time as they wanted (non ever stayed more than 2h). Then we watched. We knew the tasks were beyond anyone's abilities to complete perfectly, because they involved some subject matter expertise (that even we were struggling with sometimes), but that wasn't the point. We wanted to see how they cope, how they fare, how they interact. The results were amazing.

Of course people will crash and burn when the recruiter's approach is something like "I'm going to start at 10am and interview 20 candidates by 2pm."

Mike S.

An Early 'Cover'
I have a friend who is in marketing who is regularly asked to supply marketing proposals or ad campaigns for certain things to "demonstrate their capabilities" even before getting a face-to-face interview. I think many companies are using those candidates as idea generators. She interviewed for a $32k / yr marketing position at a university and had a 8 hour interview with required ad campaign presentation and about 20 different interviewers. Once hired, she found the university was a horrid place to work with high turnover.
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