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Microsoft drops brain teasers from employee interview process



The interview process for Silicon Valley developer jobs has always had a reputation for being a pathway to fire drills designed to weed thousands of applicants to just the few few antisocial geniuses.

However, Microsoft has made an effort to improve their hiring process to make it more useful and inclusive, and in a blog post, John Montgomery, Microsoft's program management program manager, explained what changes Microsoft has made to the process, which has meant cut out as questions as how many golf balls will fit into a 747.

This has led to the creation of "Alternative Interview Frame" which has the following 8 elements:

  1. Share the interview in advance
    Candidates get the problem resolved in advance so that they can do the research a few days before the interview. This mirrors the real world, where problems are rarely a surprise.
  2. Use a Real Problem
    Candidates are tested to solve real-life problems, such as improving customer satisfaction, increasing retention or increasing the use of a service or function. This helps promote collaboration.
  3. Give access to data
    Candidates can access the same information Microsoft works from, and in the interview they can search the internet or request more information. This includes delivering a candidate with customer research, usage data, design and mock-ups.
  4. Interact
    The interview consists of collaborative issues with the interviewers, who replicate the actual working environment if the candidate was hired
  5. Follow a simple scenario
    Fifth, Microsoft follows a simple scenario / problem throughout the day and takes the candidate on a similar journey as the PM goes through with starting the customer or business problem, understanding the customer's job-to-done, designing the solution, bringing the solution into the customer's hands and finally getting them to use and love it. Each interview focuses on another phase of the process.
  6. Pair interviewers
    Sixth, Microsoft couple interviews up. Instead of having one-on-one interviews, Microsoft brings two people from the team into each interview. The result is that conversations are more dynamic with more partners, it also gave the interviewer the opportunity to hear more perspectives on the same conversation and combat unconscious bias.
  7. Keep feedback to the end
    Microsoft is holding feedback between interviewers until the end of the day, after all the candidates have been interviewed. Microsoft wanted each interviewer to judge the candidate based on the benefits of his conversation alone – and not the meaning of interviewers who came before them. Microsoft does not tell interviewers to signal to others whether they leaned on recommending that we hire someone or not. They send the candidate to the next interviews and give a summary of what we had learned in the previous session. At the end of the day, everyone repeatedly repeats their recommendation and explains a little about what they saw / heard that led to that conclusion.
  8. Give feedback on the process also
    Finally, at the end of each interview loop, the interview panel not only discusses what they learned in their time with the candidate, but what worked or did not work in the process. This feedback is used to make the process better for everyone.

Finally, Microsoft's goal for the hiring process is to bring good people into the team or company – to ensure they fit and want to succeed, and to create a great experience for them to join. Microsoft said they had good feedback on the process, which has grown since 2016, and has found that it has given them a competitive advantage over other recruiters.

Read more in detail on the process at Medium here.

via BusinessInsider [19659023]
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