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Thursday
May172012

hiring: interviewing doesn't work



Interviewing is Not Good Enough - from hiring really important roles too quickly and then regretting my decision one month after I hired the person.    


I do not believe in interviewing as a sole means to evaluate the hiring of someone for several reasons.   

  1. No matter who you are interviewing or what questions you ask (even if they were developed by a PHD psychologist, or Google), I have found that you can't tell how that person is going to gel, or not gel, with other members of your team.
  2. Product managers in particular are bitches to hire.  They are all but impossible to evaluate in an interview because there is no real test for competence.  I have never been able to hire a “good” product person without them going through some trial period.
  3. I have found that some people are awesome at interviews but are horrible as employees.
  4. I have found some people who are horrible at interviewing have turned out to the be the best employees (note: this is generally because many engineers are uncomfortable in social situations).
  5. You can never allow everyone that needs to, or even wants to, to interview every candidate - it would simply take too much time out of the day and be too disruptive.
  6. Hiring an employee is a pretty permanent thing.  It's very hard to fire a person in the U.S. and firing an employee is often a moral shitter for the company because it means you invited someone into the team that didn't fit. That makes it look like the hiring process should have filtered out this person, but didn’t. Ultimately whenever you have to fire someone, employees will almost always feel that you, as the founder, should have divined that this person was an asshole or was unskilled.  Everything will always be your fault, so own it.

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