The Email Interview

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I don’t like conducting interviews. I would rather be interviewed for a job than interview someone for a job. If I have to choose between written and oral communication, I will usually prefer to write. I like async communication because I have time to think clearly and then commit to words what I’m thinking. I have a mild central auditory processing disorder, meaning an in-person interview pushes my limits of listening, and critically processing, and taking notes on answers in real time. Critical assessment of the candidate’s answer will probably be the functional task that drops.

There are lots of complaints about the interview process, mine is that I have a hard time going from just a resume for context to a fully formed opinion in 45 minutes. I frequently walk out of an interview feeling good but wanting to ask follow up questions the next morning, or realize that I didn’t get a full answer to a question.

Lastly almost every job description asks for applicants with strong written and verbal communication skills. But the average interview loop only tests your written communication skills by asking for a resume, which is not real writing.

I would love to see an interview format that goes as follows:

  1. I read your resume, write a few questions and send them to the candidate
  2. You respond, with a soft commitment not to spend much more that 20-30 minutes answering
  3. Candidate and interviewer have the option to go back and forth a few times on specifics or follow ups
  4. The candidate comes in for an on-site or VTC discussion of ~20 minutes per person to talk on the same subject as the emails

I’m not looking for a laborious homework assignment, just have a format that allows me to not feel rushed into an assessment.

Written on July 10, 2019