job screening question

George Herbert george.herbert at
Sat Jul 7 18:30:25 UTC 2012

On Jul 7, 2012, at 11:13 AM, Matthew Palmer <mpalmer at> wrote:

> On Sat, Jul 07, 2012 at 11:01:29AM -0700, JC Dill wrote:
>> On 06/07/12 9:06 PM, Matthew Palmer wrote:
>>>> Maybe it's more significant to ask what the difference between TCP and UDP is.
>>> Yes, the difference between TCP and UDP is a much better question to ask,
>>> but having HR assess and act on the answer to the question is a whole hell
>>> of a lot harder.
>> The best path is to have HR report the answer verbatim for the
>> hiring manager to do the assessing.  Then the hiring manager can
>> decide which candidates proceed to the next level of interviews.
> Two problems there:
> * We've already had mention made in this thread of the problems associated
>  with HR attempting to record, verbatim, an answer provided by a candidate. 
>  Unless all your HR phone screeners are experienced stenographers (who, I
>  will note, can typically command salaries far in excess of HR associates),
>  their chances of getting an accurate record of a candidate's statements is
>  slim.
> * If you're going to have to carefully examine each candidate's answers
>  *anyway*, why not just get on the phone screen with them in the first
>  place, and get HR out of the picture?  At least that way you're not
>  wasting money paying for HR people, and you can do a far more in-depth
>  interview because you're there, in real-time, to ask follow-up questions.
> - Matt

Yeah.  We tried "write down verbatim" - epic fail.

This was why we spent man-months of top level consultant time coming up with ( and fixing and evolving ) lists of twentyish questions per discipline with only one right answer and an answer the recruiter could tell was right or not.

It's not easy.  If you screen a thousand plus people a year it's a super win.  If you screen ten or twenty you may just want your techie interviewer to do the short screen rather than figure out how the recruiter can.

George William Herbert
Sent from my iPhone

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