Hiring Tip: Intangibles > Interviews

We weigh interviews too highly when hiring.

Divorce a candidate’s interview skills with their ability to effectively do the job in question.

The assumption that the quality of an interview has anything to do with the manner in which a candidate can perform the essential duties of a role is ludicrous.

Yet this presumption results in a bias toward favoring the most outgoing, most extroverted people over others who may be equally (or more) skilled but less flamboyant or articulate on a call.

People have off days. Are you going to pass up on the right person just because their interview was on the wrong day?

Are you going to hire the wrong person just because they put on a better show during one or two superficial interviews?

Just because someone is a bad interview doesn’t mean they’ll be a bad hire.

Just because they’re a good interview doesn’t mean they’ll be a good hire.

Unless it’s a customer-facing role, all that should matter is finding the person who can most efficiently go heads down and optimize outputs.

Nothing else matters.

I’m not saying not to do interviews. Do interviews. I’m saying that interviewing well is only one indicator of candidate quality – one that should be weighted relatively low.

Put more stock in life experience, evidence of success, work samples, any initiative taken to add value up-front, and maybe a few references.

Then use the interview not to evaluate whether you want to hire someone; but to gauge value alignment, work style, and character with genuine conversations.

You’ll gain a much better feel for the intangibles, which are massively undervalued. The intangibles are almost all that matters.

Yet we continue to ask form questions based on templated questionnaires and reward the most performative candidates.


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