We interview prospective hires poorly, but we don’t recognize our ineptitude

All law departments interview applicants, often devoting hours to them and more time for internal deliberations.  It dismays me, then, to read that “decades of research have suggested that, despite their widespread use, interviews are not very predictive of applicants’ future performance.”  We think we can size people up, ask penetrating questions, and judge their abilities objectively.  We can’t.  Other tools serve us better, but they are less used by law departments: work samples, cognitive ability tests, behavioral interviews, and tests of conscientiousness, for example.


This background comes from an article in the Acad. Mgt.  J., April 2012 at 63, which focuses on the frequency with which applicants are not forthright about themselves during interviews.  This blog has offered ideas before on interviewing job seekers (See my post of May 22, 2009: hiring interviews for lawyers with 6 references.).


After my initial metapost, I continued commenting on interviews (See my post of Dec. 22, 2009: GC and local management should combine to recruit a local lawyer; Jan. 12, 2010: recruitment costs presumed to include trip for interviews; May 24, 2010: benefits of checking references before interviews; Jan. 17, 2011: six questions you should ask during an interview; and March 6, 2012: superficiality of the interview process.).

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