[thechat] Application Forms (Was: predictive indexing - is it evil ?)

Chris Marsh chris at webbtech.co.uk
Wed Sep 4 11:20:00 CDT 2002


> > CV. What information does essay-type questions on an
> application form
> > give you that a drier listing of experience doesn't;
> As the two questions were standard first interview questions,
> I imagine the point is to make the interview process faster
> for the recruiting manager - making the form stage a tougher
> test, and make the interview an easier "is this person likely
> to fit into the team here?" test.

Granted. And I suppose *personally* I wouldn't, because I'm a developer
not a sales assistant.


> It seems that your main objection is "This is over the top
> for this job." Maybe you're right. Maybe the real worry is
> asking too much too early for your liking (after all, from an
> applicant's time point of view, the funnel you described
> earlier also means that applicants don't waste their time
> going to interviews for jobs they're not going to get).

I don't think that asking a question at this stage in the process is
over the top, more that the specific questions asked assume that people
think of things in terms of what single skill they use at any one time,
and the direct result of application of that skill. As I said earlier,
it would seem more relevant to ask the question "why do you consider
yourself suitable for this role".

> Besides, she may not be able to recall any anecdotes, but if
> she's got the experience, I'd be surprised if she couldn't
> think up any evidence to back it up.

No problem there. But the questions asked require anecdotes about
specific situations. If you work in a shop, you deal with thousands of
customers every week. You don't get paid a huge salary. It's not the
kind of job where you build up a stack of anecdotes illustrating the
skills required for the job.

> > It is easy for you to
> > gain an interview on the strength of my application form. How you
> > proceed from there is down to you, but there is no way for the
> > employer to tell that the person that is in the interview
> is the one
> > that filled out the application form.
> You've not been interviewed well, then. Job #1 of an
> interview is to assess any claims made on the form or CV.

It is easy for you to gain an *interview* on the strength of my
application form, not *job*. This has nothing to do with the standard of
interview, the form just gets you through the door.

> Yep. It's also a way of making sure that the data you ask for
> is stuff you believe to be useful (as opposed to what the
> applicant thinks is useful), and by standardising the forms

But if the point is to cut through all of the useless applicants, then
surely seeing what the applicant thinks is useful is a good way of
judging their potential usefulness to your organisation.

> (hey, maybe it's a company-wide form..?), your recruiting
> managers won't put anything stupid there that's likely to get
> them sued.



> If it's faked, you'll get found out.

*sigh* There is no point to conning your way into a job that you cannot
do. You will be fired. That is a point I have no wish to discuss, as
apparently we are in agreement. If the answer to the quoted question is
faked and yet you are a suitable candidate, then there is very little
likelihood of being found out. Thus, why not ask a question that allows
the candidate more scope to genuinely expose their skills?



Chris Marsh

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