Hacker News new | comments | show | ask | jobs | submit login

I especially liked this part:

> 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.




If you need someone with a level head, try to frustrate your candidates and ditch the ones with short tempers.

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.


> If you need someone with a level head, try to frustrate your candidates and ditch the ones with short tempers.

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.


This is a great point.

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 could be reasonable ways to accomplish that. Knowing how well a candidate handles frustrating situations is definitely worthwhile, I just think there should be a lot of caution about how the situation is presented so that the candidate doesn't get the wrong impression.


> try to frustrate your candidates and ditch the ones with short tempers

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?"


I would caution against purposefully frustrating your candidates. Interviews where the interviewer is frustrating definitely have not made me looks more favorably on the company.


Thanks for the feedback. I'll have to give it some thought because it seems like I failed to explain this well enough (though I may just straight up be wrong about it altogether).

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.


Most jobs don't require people who can endure getting "pushed to the limit" every week, hour, day, etc. Especially while under close observation and scrutiny. That would strain most any person. If it is that demanding, then be upfront about that instead of surprising candidates during a stressful interview.

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.


> then be upfront about that instead of surprising candidates during a stressful interview

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

Absolutely.


What I liked was the philosophy of deciding what personal traits are relevant for this job, and then specifically interviewing for those traits. The edit was because people seemed to be keying off the "frustrated" part, and that wasn't what I was trying to call attention to.


Made a slight edit. Thanks for the feedback.




Applications are open for YC Winter 2018

Guidelines | FAQ | Support | API | Security | Lists | Bookmarklet | DMCA | Apply to YC | Contact

Search: