When Doing Hiring, Would It Be Better To Be Blind?

Sometimes not being able to see a job candidate can allow you to make a better choice
Sometimes not being able to see a job candidate can allow you to make a better choice
Image Credit: Lead Beyond

Let’s face it: hiring the right person to join your team is a tough job. When we consider how long they may be with the company and the impact that they may have on the rest of the team, we really want to use our IT manager skills to get this decision right. Over the years in our IT manager training a lot of different interviewing techniques have been proposed and tried out. However, the system still is not perfect. There is a new approach on the horizon that is starting to get a lot of attention: blind interviewing. Could this be the answer to our interviewing questions?

The Problem With The Way That We Interview Today

The interviewing process that we use today is by no means a perfect process. As an IT manager, your goal is take some time out of your busy schedule, sort through a list of people who have applied to fill the open position, pick the best candidates using some mysterious criteria, interview them and then pick the one that you think will work the best with your team.

The problems with this process show up almost immediately. During the interview process there is a high likelihood that you will connect with some candidates and not with others. Clearly the ones that you were able to establish some rapport with will have a better chance of being selected. What’s important to understand here is that just because you got along with them during a brief interview does not mean that they are necessarily a good fit for your team.

Another issue that can come up during a job interview process is allowing yourself to be influenced by where a candidate has worked in the past. No matter if it is a big firm or a firm that has an impressive track record, once you see that company’s name on a candidate’s resume you’ll tend to think more positively towards them. Once again, just because they worked for a big name in the past does not mean that they’ll do a good job for your team in the future.

How Blind Interviewing Works

At its core, blind interviewing consists of throwing out a candidate’s resume. The thinking goes that you can be influenced by what is on a resume and this is going to leave you with a mistaken impression about what this person could do for your company and for your team. What you really want to do is to evaluate each candidate without any of the bias that we normally bring to the table.

Once you’ve thrown the resume away, you’re now faced with the challenge of trying to determine if someone could be a good fit for your company. This is going to call for some creativity. Several firms have taken steps to add the creation of an anonymous sample project to their interviewing process. Prospective candidates complete the project and their work is then compared to each other. The work can then be evaluated without knowing who created it in order to determine who does the best job.

Blind hiring allows IT managers to get over several different types of biases that may be preventing us from hiring the best workers. One of these biases is the tendency for us to believe that men can do a better job than women can even if both of them have a similar background. Another key bias is formed when we learn someone’s name. We may have known someone else with that name or we may recognize what part of the world this person comes from. This may negatively impact how we view this candidate.

What All Of This Means For You

Hiring the right person to join our team is a hard job to do correctly. The hiring process can take up a lot of our valuable time and in the end we’re never quite sure if we made the right choice in terms of IT team building. What we’d all like to have is a better way of performing this task.

A new job candidate interviewing technique called “Blind Interviewing” has just shown up. This process starts by discarding a candidate’s resume and instead focuses on how well they could perform the tasks that the job will require. In order to determine how good of a worker a candidate might be, they are asked to complete a project that is then evaluated against other candidate’s projects. This method allows us to avoid any sex or family name biases that we may have.

In all honesty, blind interviewing has a lot going for it. What a person can do for you is the key, not what they’ve done in the past. The time required to conduct a blind interview may be a bit steep, but the results just might make the investment worthwhile. Perhaps blind interviewing is something that you should open your eyes to…

– Dr. Jim Anderson
Blue Elephant Consulting –
Your Source For Real World IT Management Skills™

Question For You: If you ask a blind interview candidate to complete a project, how long should it take tham?

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What We’ll Be Talking About Next Time

In all honesty, it really does not take that much to become an IT manager. One promotion and poof there you are no matter what IT manager skills you may or may not have.. However, in order to become an unforgettable IT manager, now that’s something completely different! I’m pretty sure that all of us would like to become unforgettable if only we knew what IT manager training we need in order to do this. It turns out that it’s not easy, but the good news is that it can be done.

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