The only thing dumber than a job interview is the people in human resources. For the past 30 years we’ve stuck the dumbest of the dumb in hr. The bulk of people who work in hr are cute blondes someone at the company wants to fuck, then they sprinkle in some relatives, and finally top it off with contest winners (maybe – I don’t know where they get these people).
It probably made sense at the time to put these people in hr because you don’t want them doing real work, but they still need to be employed. But a problem developed – we made these idiots the gatekeeper.
They should be fine gatekeepers. Idiots can just hire the most qualified people with the best credentials. But that’d be too easy right?
HR people don’t hire those with the best credentials, because they had shitty credentials themselves (that’s how they ended up in hr). They didn’t get good grades in college, so they don’t value that. They mistakenly think that they’re good employees, so they try to look for hidden talents that they can magically coax out in an interview in 20 minutes.
This is what we’re left with.
So where do you see yourself in five years?
What if there was a manager you had a disagreement with, how would you handle it?
Those are two things that seem relevant don’t they? Except it completely ignores the fact that you don’t actually have to do any of the things you say you’re going to do. You can just make it up. “Where do I see myself in five years? I’m going to be feeding a dixie cup full of rocket fuel to the robot I invented to make Avis Rent-A-Car #1, that’s for damn sure!”
But what the interview doesn’t account for, is that you can just say that without having any knowledge about either robots or dixie cups. The smart people at the company handed over the gate to hr, and hr turned it into a game where the winner is the person who is the best at playing pretend.
It should come as no surprise than that rather than hiring the best candidates, a study found the system rewards straight up narcissists. What a shocker! When you ask people to talk about their accomplishments, you don’t find the person with the best accomplishments, you find the one with the biggest ego! It’s something that everyone except for your cute blonde friend who works in hr could totally predict!
This unwillingness to acknowledge our own faults as actual faults plagues us on a daily basis. As an example, pretend their are two groups of horses. 98% of the horses in group A ran their test track in under 10 seconds, but just 3% of the horses in group B ran that fast. Now I give you the choice to pick between two horses and tell you that you can’t actually race the horses, one is from group A while the other is from group B. You’d be a complete idiot to pick a horse from group B, and everyone would accept the fact that a horse from group A is on average superior.
This isn’t controversial, but now change group A and group B to Harvard and Ohio State. Both admitted high school students on the same credentials, and we know the ones at Harvard scored far better. But would anyone in hr say that Harvard gradates are superior to Ohio State? Of course not, because 1) the hr person most likely did not go to Harvard and won’t admit their own deficiency, and 2) by simply going off of other people’s test the hr person’s role is meaningless.
So now rather than just pick the group with by far the faster horses on average, the hr chick would start asking questions like:
So what goes through your mind when you’re running a good race?
If the dirt you run on had to describe your demeanor, would it say that you generally have a good humor about your self?
It’s ridiculous, but that’s how it works. No one wants to admit their not the best, and no one wants to admit their job is meaningless. So the hr person insists on inserting their own judgment into the hiring process, except you can’t judge a person’s work ethic or capabilities in 30 minutes. That information is easily ascertainable by the credentials on your resume. All you learn in an interview is how good they are at pretending, and according to this study how narcissistic they are.