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One of the very best people we ever hired was so flustered in his final interview with us (a formality, after work-sample challenges) that he was visibly shaking during it. If we had taken the "numerous axes" on which the was "not a good sign" seriously, we'd have missed that hire --- and, I think, an entire business unit in our firm wouldn't have been started.

I generally think software developers (I count myself among them) know far, far less about psychological assessment than they think they do.

Of course that happens, but you're taking a real risk in hiring someone who can't get through the interview. I'd rather miss out on a good hire than make a bad one. You only have so many ways to determine whether or not someone is competent.

I don't know what to tell you. We switched to pure work-sample hiring and hired several dozen people that way. We retained all of them. I can't say that about our interview process prior to that: not only were we not picking up the "moneyball" candidates I'm talking about here, but we were also hiring people we (painfully) ended up having to let go.

The only time people face the specific pressure of an interview is in an interview. I promise you, whatever generalization you're making doesn't hold.

My point is that you can't easily discern why they are performing poorly. All things being equal I'll take the person who could answer the questions.

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