Unstructured Interviews Are Bad Predictors Of Candidate Performance

Empirical studies have shown for decades that General Mental Ability (GMA) is the best predictor of job performance suitable for common use. Unlike other high performing measures, GMA can be readily established through standard testing. Certain personality effects such as conscientiousness also have substantial correlations with job performance and can provide useful additional information to recruiters evaluating candidates. Instead, there is a stubborn reliance on intuitive methods such as unstructured interviews which have much poorer accuracy. In fact, new research shows that including unstructured interviews can actually drive overconfidence in recruiters while impeding accuracy if used in combination with more precise methods such as GMA testing.

How We Confuse Confidence With Competence

There are many scenarios in our business or personal lives in which we need to evaluate the competence of another person. This might be an investor evaluating a financial advisor, a recruiter interviewing a candidate, a voter choosing a politician, a consumer judging a salesperson or one of any number of other scenarios. In these cases, the evaluator will lack detailed knowledge of the particular subject area, which would mean that they, (like President Trump) do not have the ability to distinguish competence. Without being able to distinguish competence, studies have shown that evaluators of advice will fall back on confidence which is only loosely correlated with actual ability. So until such time as informaton about the accuracy of the advisor is made clear, confidence will rein over competence for the layperson’s thinking.

Understanding MOBAs

When I first heard that Multiplayer Online Battle Arenas were the new thing, I assumed that there had been a revival of classic arena shooters like Quake 3 and Unreal Tournament. They’re multiplayer, online arenas where you battle, right? But instead, the genre popularised by League of Legends and Defence of the Ancients seemed to be a kind of minimalist RTS. So I didn’t pay it any more heed, and yet here in 2017, MOBAs are a professional sport. So with Awesomenauts which is essentially a 2D MOBA, I wanted to try and uncover the appeal of this persistent genre.

The prisons of our own self-images

We all have understandings of our own strengths and weaknesses, abilities and expectations, forming a self-image, or a mental model of the person we are. But these often become hardwired, with a whole bunch of cognitive effects together with the difficulty in getting objective information making it rather difficult to re-evaluate your own understandings. Outdated beliefs in your own ability or lack thereof can act to drive your career in suboptimal directions or inhibit your confidence, as well as impacting on your own direction in the world. I’m going to run through an example which has belted this home for me and inspired this post.