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

>It does always amaze me that literally what you learn in HR 101 in an undergraduate management curriculum is controversial. The r^2 of a ton of different methods for predicting job performance is something large companies are highly incentivized to get studied by academics (and they do).

Large companies are not "highly incentivized" to optimize they're hiring process. Once a certain throughput is achieved, there's very little reason to revisit it, because if they revisit it, "they're lowering the bar", or not "optimizing for recall" or whatever.

Mindlessly copying large companies isn't all that useful. Microsoft famously loved brain teasers. Can't get the fox, chicken, and grain to the other side of of the river? You must not be able to code either. Google, loved asking your SAT scores because, "obviously" someone that got some arbitrary score on a standardized test, a minimum of 6 years ago, certainly means something today.

Large companies aren't immune from bullshit. In fact, they have the habit of metastasizing bullshit, because of "Well, X does it, so it must be good." X only does it, because they had a stupid idea, became successful because of completely unrelated means, and then fooled themselves into thinking their process was good, "Well, I've been hitting candidates with ball-pein hammer for years, and I'm successful, so screw you."

Interestingly enough, eventually both Microsoft and Google abandoned these interview questions, because eventually, they realized that one had nothing to do with the other, but only after years doing it, and others copying them.

Microsoft and Google do not collectively hire that many people and are not who I am talking about. “Brain-teaser” type questions are explicitly not work-sample tests and, yes, have no correlation with job performance.

The number of people that they collectively hire is irrelevant. They have an outsized influence on interview practices industry wide.

IQ does correlate with work performance, and SAT tests are IQ tests. Brain teasers are an attempt at seeing how well/quickly your brain works to solve problems, is a rudimentary IQ test.

The problem is that requiring IQ tests for employment introduces liability that employers do not want.

No. None of this is true.

Neither IQ nor SAT scores correlate with job performance. SAT scores were requested at Google for years. Explicit aptitude tests have been used in the past, and continue to be used. They are quite legal, as long as they are used for their intend use.



Allow me to provide a link from the NY Times article your shared.

The TL;DNR: Nuh-uh!


In the future, you really shouldn't link to dueling articles in an opinion section. It makes this all too easy.

One of those opinions is from a professor of psychology, the other sells test prep services for a living.

SATs are IQ tests? A large portion is math, and the other written language, both taught disciplines. You obviously haven't taken a real IQ test, which is more abstract and has a large portion of spatial geometry type questions.

And isn't one large chunk of the SAT a written language test - that's gong to suck for dyslexic / neurodiverse candidates.

At one point, MENSA would accept a high SAT score as a reasonable proxy for a high IQ.

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