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Hiring Job Interviews Screening Applicants Tests Job Applicants

At the end of a recent job interview, the interviewer asked me to write a summary of what we discussed. He said these summaries help him learn about applicants and make better hiring decisions. I thought my interview went well, and I summarized it as best as I could. I never heard back. Are these summaries a new trend?

Some interviewers have been advised that such summaries are helpful tools for screening applicants. As a result, they include them in the screening process. The problem is that in most cases, these summaries are little more than unvalidated pre-employment tests.

In order to know if the ability to write a good interview summary is actually a predictor of success on a given job, an employer would need to conduct a study to scientifically analyze the relationship between a good summary and the attainment of specific predetermined performance levels on the job. Without this step, the more likely outcome includes questionable insights and the loss of qualified applicants.

And further, what constitutes a good summary? Is it a lengthy diatribe that includes every piece of information discussed in the interview, or is it a concise listing of bullet points that focus only on the important topics? If there is confusion over the definition of a good summary, any action based on such summaries will be flawed.

Many interviewers seek shortcuts to help screen applicants, and there are some good ones, such as job-related interviews, validated tests, and reference checks. However, asking employees to write a summary of a job interview is not a shortcut. In most cases, it is a step that should be cut short.

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