Do the Interview Write

I had lunch with a colleague today, to catch up and talk about his career. During the course of our lunch, we talked about interviews and interviewing. He mentions that his company now gives a writing test as a standard part of the interview process for PhD scientists. He mentioned on candidate who gave a great seminar, but “blew off” the writing test – he didn’t take it seriously, and didn’t spend the time to craft a good answer. That decision ended up costing him the job.

Yesterday, I heard about an applicant who submitted a resume to a large company. After an initial screening interview, she had a timed intelligence test, video interview, then a problem solving test before being considered for an on-site interview.

I am seeing more and more of this – formal testing as part of the interview process. If the company is taking the time to do it, as an interviewee you had better take it seriously. Finding out what the company is trying to find out about you can also give you insight into the company culture, and help you decide if you want to work there.