A Brief Digression

Job Interviews are Getting Less Personal, Not More

Automattic’s Matt Mullenweg linked to this Inc. story about the future of the job interview. In it the writer summarizes a book about workplace excellence and how CEOs and office managers can achieve it. There’s discussion in the story about how biases play a role in the job interview and Mullenweg talks about how his company has changed things to get what’s hopefully a better picture of how someone would perform in the job as opposed to how well they interview.

That’s all really interesting and there’s a strong case to be made for the interview process being broken. But after nine months of job searching to little avail here’s what I’ve found is actually replacing the job interview: The automated resume keyword screening.

In the last several months I can count the number of actual interviews I’ve had on two hands. And all but two or three of those have been phone calls positioned not as interviews but as “get to know you” sessions to measure some level of compatibility. In most cases I apparently haven’t made it past the step that involves my resume being screened by an automated system to weed out people deemed to be unqualified.

The “audition” process outlined in the Inc. story is still at the level of being a form of interview. It means the application has been accepted and reviewed already by a system that presumably doesn’t have the unconscious biases inherent in one human being interviewing another. So this sort of freedom already exists. And in my case that means I’ve only spoken in person to someone two or three times.

I’ve tweaked my resume a half-dozen times to try and be more friendly to these systems, to include more of the keywords they’re obviously looking for. Little to nothing has come of that yet and this is the most frustrating of the ongoing job search process. I’d welcome the chance to go through some sort of audition process but the computer has gotten in my way to date.

In my experience over the last several months the future of hiring isn’t a rejiggered interview process, it’s more reliance by companies on automation.

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