Live Interviews Suck Donkeys

Live Interviews Suck Donkeys

Hiring sucks.

CVs suck.

And for many folks, myself included, who don’t cope well with live interviews, live interviews suck donkeys.

And that’s before we consider the impact of a wide variety of implicit cognitive biases and prejudices – such as sexism, racism, ageism, etc. – on the hiring process. Impacts which are inevitable when hirers get to see the candidates and their gross visible characteristics (gender, ethnicity, age, etc.).


What’s the alternative? When I’m hiring people, I’d much rather script a list of salient and insightful questions, and give candidates the opportunity to consider them and respond, coherently, at the pace that best suits them. After all it’s not like these are the kind of questions where one can find the answers on the internet, all neatly pre-packaged and gift-wrapped.

And when being hired, I’d much rather have the opportunity to present coherent and considered responses to questions, rather than make up some lame and half-assed response on the spur of the moment.

Are we hiring people for their skills at live interviewing (i.e. politicians) or for their skills in actually doing the job at hand?

How do you feel about live interviews?

– Bob

1 comment
  1. In my time, I’ve had live interviews which were a delight, turning into a conversation rather than a combative Q&A session. I’ve had interviews that were unmitigated disasters for me. I’ve had interviews that were unmitigated disasters for the interviewer. I’ve had interviews where I came out thinking “I wouldn’t take this job if you offered it to me!” and others where I’ve come out thinking “What was all that in aid of?” I’ve had interviews that were so at variance with the phone conversation I’d had earlier that I wondered if I’d stumbled into an office battle between HR and the team manager; and others where I thought I’d stumbled into an alternate reality.

    The interviews where I’ve nailed the job have often been the ones that started with some sort of external disaster, such as waking up to a telephone interview because my alarm clock had stopped, or where I’ve taken a fall in the office car park and had to sit and let my hands have a good shake before I could do the interview. And there was one where the agency gave me an office address that was three years out of date and my mission (which I chose to accept) was to find the real interview venue. (“Was that some sort of initiative test?” I asked when I finally found the company’s offices.)

    I think that an interview that sets out to throw curve balls at candidates are just unfair. An interview that consists of a conversation between equals is, for me, the best sort,.

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