Interviews

Are interviews a good way of sorting the wheat from the chaff? Interviews reward those people who are good at telling short vignettes, who know what they want to do 5 years from now, those who are good at looking comfortable, those who can think on their feet, and those who can articulate the qualities about themselves that are desirable to an employer (and those who look comfortable). Maybe these qualities correlate to job success but I am not sure; as Schmidt and Hunter find, work sample tests are the most accurate predictor of job success. Two types of people do well in interviews; the good candidates who will practice interviewing and prepare answers and those who are natural speakers. Should taking some time to think of an answer help or hurt your image in the interviewer's eyes? Responding quickly signals confidence, and intelligence. While I expect the interviewers at most firms to attempt to overcome this quick-response bias they might not do so. Responding quickly means you might not have thought the answer all the way through, especially to a difficult question. On the other hand if the applicant pool is large and the number of acceptances small, the best candidates will be able to respond to the question at hand accurately and quickly. You are not expected to be honest in interviews. "I want this job because it pays very well" or "I want this job because it will give me high status" are not acceptable answers.

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