The importance of having a good interviewing skill to find the right person for the job

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The importance of having a good interviewing skill to find the right person for the job

Nov 10, EDIT: KeepSafe in San Francisco and Improbable in London are now both hiring engineers without relying on resumes! About a year ago, after looking at the resumes of engineers we had interviewed at TrialPay inI learned that the strongest signal for whether someone would get an offer was the number of typos and grammatical errors on their resume.

These results were pretty unexpected, ran counter to how resumes were normally filtered, and left me scratching my head about how good people are at making value judgments based on resumes, period.

So, I decided to run an experiment. In this experiment, I wanted to see how good engineers and recruiters were at resume-based candidate filtering. Going into it, I was pretty sure that engineers would do a much better job than recruiters.

As it turned out, people were pretty bad at filtering resumes across the board, and after running the numbers, it began to look like resumes might not be a particularly effective filtering tool in the first place. Setup The setup was simple.

Take resumes from my collection. Remove all personally identifying info name, contact info, dates, etc. Show them to a bunch of recruiters and engineers.

For each resume, ask just one question: Would you interview this candidate? Essentially, each participant saw something like this: To make judging easier, I told participants to pretend that they were hiring for a full-stack or back-end web dev role, as appropriate. For each resume, I had a pretty good idea of how strong the engineer in question was, and I split resumes into two strength-based groups.

To make this judgment call, I drew on my personal experience — most of the resumes came from candidates I placed or tried to place at top-tier startups. In these cases, I knew exactly how the engineer had done in technical interviews, and, more often than not, I had visibility into how they performed on the job afterwards.

The remainder of resumes came from engineers I had worked with directly. The question was whether the participants in this experiment could figure out who was who just from the resume. At this juncture, a disclaimer is in order.

The importance of having a good interviewing skill to find the right person for the job

But, you gotta start somewhere. I used a total of 51 resumes in this study.

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A total of people participated in the experiment. Each participant made judgments on 6 randomly selected resumes from the original set of 51, for a total of data points1. If you want to take the experiment for a whirl yourself, you can do so here. Participants were broken up into engineers both engineers involved in hiring and hiring managers themselves and recruiters both in-house and agency.

There were 46 recruiters 22 in-house and 24 agency and engineers 20 hiring managers and 86 non-manager engineers who were still involved in hiring. Results So, what ended up happening? Below, you can see a comparison of resume scores for both groups of candidates.

The solid line is the median, and the boxes contain the 2nd and 3rd quartiles on either side of it. Mobile users, please click here to view this graph. Another way to look at the data is to look at the distribution of accuracy scores.

Accuracy in this context refers to how many resumes people were able to tag correctly out of the subset of 6 that they saw.

As you can see, results were all over the board. This was pretty surprising, and at the risk of being glib, according to these results, when a good chunk of people involved in hiring make resume judgments, they might as well be flipping a coin.Mobile users, please click here to view this graph..

Urbanagricultureinitiative.com blog – better interviewing through data

On average, participants guessed correctly 53% of the time. This was pretty surprising, and at the risk of being glib, according to these results, when a good chunk of people involved in hiring make resume judgments, they might as well be flipping a coin.

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