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Have you ever read The Checklist Manifesto[0]? I may be reading too much into this post, but the lessons you learned from this interview process have frighteningly close parallels to the lessons in the books. I doubt the book had any influence on your interview process, seeing as it was published after the interviews were formalized, but the book seems like it might have new lessons.

For example, a good portion of doctors absolutely hated using checklists. Yet, when pressed, readily admitted that it prevents simple mistakes and that they would prefer to have them rather than not to. Another is that entries that address more human concerns, e.g. "Have everyone introduce themselves", have a place on good checklists.

[0] http://www.amazon.com/Checklist-Manifesto-How-Things-Right/d...

Extremely true. This is about systematizing the right things about interviewing, and making them solid. Checklist Manifesto is all about that, a great simple way to create systems that work.

At a high level, this is all about Deming ( http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/W._Edwards_Deming ) and TQM concepts -- if you want to achieve a high-quality output, measure the things that matter, and understand the variation present in the system. Once you have a stable system with good data achieved by good methods, you may then begin improving it. Attempting to improve a complex system without knowledge results in unpredictable changes—we call that tampering. Simple but beautiful.

So, in essence, this is an extremely natural and correct application of quality management principles to the hiring process. Stellar.

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