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For our last hire, I was the only one on the hiring committee to ask about past projects. The others defaulted to "fundamentals" questions.

I think the reason people do this is a mix of 1) not knowing what traits to look for 2) not comfortable with unstructured conversation 3) frankly that it takes work to evaluate each resume and research projects enough to have a useful conversation.

For me though, how they achieve success at past work is the best indicator of future success.

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