Peter Norvig
Google's Broken Hiring Process - Google - Gawker -
Google's Broken Hiring Process - Google - Gawker
What do you know? Valleywag got everything wrong. Google is hiring, not laying off. Also, our interview scores actually correlate very well with on-the-job performance. Peter Seibel asked me if there was anything counterintuitive about the process and I said that people who got one low score but were hired anyway did well on-the-job. To me, that means the interview process is doing very well, not that it is broken. It means that we don't let one bad interview blackball a candidate. We'll keep interviewing, keep hiring, and keep analyzing the results to improve the process. And I guess Valleywag will keep doing what they do... - Peter Norvig from Bookmarklet
Nice shirt! - Jim Norris
That is a nice shirt. - τorƍue
You had at least three rounds of layoffs this year, Peter. - Ryan Tate
Further, while you hired a rare few people who got "1" scores on one their interviews, you rejected 99 percent of those people, and you have no idea how they would have performed. Those you did hire turned out to be top performers. Sounds broken to me. (I am the author of the Valleywag post in question.) - Ryan Tate
Hi Ryan, thanks for commenting. First: we get over 1000 resumes a day. We can't hire all of them. I am painfully aware that a few of the people we don't hire would be as good or better than a few of the people we do. I feel bad for the people we have to reject who are equally qualified, but that is the nature of uncertain decision-making. Now what I said in the Seibel interview: we try hard to consider people who have skewed feedback: some really good and some really bad. People in that class who we hire generally turn out well. Absolutely nothing about that suggests that it would be a good idea to hire people who get uniformly negative feedback: is that what you are suggesting? Can you explain what you think is broken? - Peter Norvig
It's a great shirt. Google is tops. No system is perfect -- so long as there's a weighting for intangibles and accounting for style differences between interviewer and interviewee, all should be fine. - Christopher Galtenberg
Bump. Maybe Ryan didn't get a chance to see that you'd responded, Peter. - Matt Cutts
Peter, did you ever read Malcolm Gladwell's book Blink? Seems to me the other piece of the hiring process to analyze is the cost-benefit analysis - is it worth doing so many interviews and so much testing if people's first hunch is often the best indicator? (Which isn't exactly what Gladwell said, but partially). - Laura Norvig
I'm very suspicious of relying on the first hunch. If you hired everyone based on your first hunches, you would discover that most of the time you are wrong. I've lost count of the number of times I've interviewed someone (either on-site or as a second phone interview), and learned that the previous interviewer did not ask them to write code, despite the position being one that required authoring of software. Ninety-five percent of such "relying on hunches" cases led to rejections. I shudder to think what might have happened if everyone thought like the interviewers in front of me. Oh wait, I do know what happens. :-) - Piaw Na
Yeah! Always go with the _second_ hunch. - Andrew C (✔)
While I respect G for maintaining it's high standards for selection of new employees, one must caution against becoming myopic from seeking an image cast from itself. I've always thought that brainteasers were gimmicks and not real tests of one's ability, and using them in real-world hiring is just plain juvenile! While I don't know the details of their hiring process, I'd be curious to see if the selection is geared more to a 'cultural fit' vs. an 'intellectual fit'. There are lots of brilliant people out there but not all are good employees. Take Ted Kaczynski (sp?), for example. - Sir Roxalot
People talk a lot about the brainteasers, but I know I've never used one in the hundreds of interviews I've done, and when we consider hiring someone, I'm not influenced if they miss a brainteaser question that someone else asked. I am influenced if they refuse to engage, or discuss the question. -Peter Norvig - Peter Norvig from email
I've never used a brainteaser in my interviews either. I don't like them, and discount interviewers who use them heavily. - Piaw Na
It's important to beware of survivor bias when reviewing the outcomes of your processes. Sure most of the 1's did well, but how about the 4's? It's easy to overtrain a system, and in any group of workers I've been in, I've shielded the slightly less competent Peacemakers from ridicule by the other Smart Guys because we need them just as much as they need us. - Jason Marshall