As they have in many areas, Google has attempted to set a new standard when it comes to the interviewing and hiring process for their corporation. Interviews are by nature an awkward experience because you are essentially being required to sit down and have a very intimate talk with someone you have never met while also squirming in your own vulnerability of being in need of this person granting you something you want. Surprisingly, many interviewers say that performing the interview process is just as uncomfortable for them as it is for the job seeker.
Google’s secrets to redefine the interview process for tech companies, begins with the types of questions they ask, according to author and Google executive Laszlo Bock. Traditional interviews operate on the basis that within the first ten seconds the interviewer will have decided what their first impression of a candidate is, and then the rest of the interview will be spent trying to confirm that initial impression. This method has nothing to do with assessing whether the individual is qualified for the job or not. This method boils down to nothing more than speed dating and the personal bias of the person conducting the interview.
Rather than depend on the ever changing human heart and emotions to choose a good candidate, Google instead uses an interview panel of several people including, in most cases, a few individuals who would be working under the candidate should they get hired. This is a revolutionary approach to let a subordinate weigh in on the hiring potential of a new boss. However, Google finds that to construct teams that truly mesh in productive ways it is necessary to look at all aspects of the team and build in the most productive way.
Google also spends more time during the interview trying to understand how the individual would behave and act during certain job scenarios by using open ended questions that could apply to real work situations such as, “Describe an instance in which you lead your work team toward a solution to a major problem.” This is a far cry from traditional interview questions such as, “So explain your best quality to me.”
Another great aspect to Google’s “interview panel” model is that they will also pull an individual into the panel from an entirely different department. Someone who would never be in a team environment with the candidate. Using an outsider like this, eliminates the predominate question which can color the other interviewers, which is, “Will I like working with this person every day?” Someone from an entirely different department will not be focusing on that. They will be focusing on the evaluation tools set up to determine if this person can perform the job or not.
In essence Google has taken the old school yard, “picking teams” mentality out of the interview process and rather replaced it with practical steps that will help them assemble teams based on skill and the ability to work together well..