> If you need someone who can hit the ground running right away, test them with the exact tools they’ll be using on the job. If you need someone flexible who can learn anything, test them on something new and unique. If you need someone with a level head, try to frustrate your candidates and ditch the ones with short tempers.
Edit: Except for deliberately frustrating candidates.
My head's so level, I'd outright ask the interviewer if she's intentionally being an asshole as part of the "negative feedback" portion of our interview, or if she's actually that bad to work with. Regardless of the answer, as I was walking toward the door I'd ask if negativity is such a problem at their company that they feel a need to test for it.
Interviews are a two-way street. If as a candidate I'm given an unrealistic expectation that's intended to frustrate me, I'll get the impression that's how the company normally operates and choose to look elsewhere.
When I talk about intentionally frustrating candidates, it's mostly based on a technical interview we would do that a lot of people would struggle with. It hit the critical thinking itch, I think, and some people can't handle that. Y'all have me thinking that this section could use a little revision, though.
There's a Mitchell & Webb sketch which seems almost obligatory here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iRtBvo9grLw
"Derek is here to provide what we call 'extreme negative feedback', so that we can assess your ability to cope with stressful situations. Is that okay with you?"
The candidates who ended up frustrated weren't feeling that way because we were jerks to them (I don't think). Maybe what I'm getting at is don't be afraid to push people to the limit a little bit in a task, because their reactions to it say as much as their approach.
People should be aware of what they accidentally select for in candidates. I feel like I am skilled at remaining calm in crisis work situations where people (customers, co-workers, owners) are dependent upon me, but I can bomb interviews just as easily as the next person. Some approaches might consistently filter people who get stressed during interviews, rather than select people who maintain poise.
People are rarely humble enough to actually reflect on this if they're excited about a job.
> People should be aware of what they accidentally select for in candidates