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Are job interviews worse than useless?

NEW YORK - MAY 7: A job applicant (L) speaks with recruiter Renee Chandler (R) during an interview May 7, 2003 at the offices of Metro Support Group in New York City. The nation's jobless rate climbed to six percent in April, rising for the third straight month, adding up to half a million lost jobs. New York's job market has especially been hit hard, with many applicants being unable to find work.
Chris Hondros/Getty Images
A job applicant (L) speaks with recruiter Renee Chandler (R) during an interview May 7, 2003 at the offices of Metro Support Group in New York City.

Either this is your worst fear, or something you’ve suspected all along: job interviews are worse than useless, they’re harmful.

Either this is your worst fear, or something you’ve suspected all along: job interviews are worse than useless, they’re harmful.

At least, that’s the conclusion of a recent behavioral study co-authored by Jason Dana, a Professor at Yale, who concluded that unstructured, get-to-know-you job interviews distract interviewers from what’s valuable about a candidate. That’s partially because people can turn any information, even irrelevant information, into a cogent narrative that’s not necessarily representative of a candidate’s capabilities.

We want to hear from you. What are your interview horror stories, either as an interviewer or an interviewee? Do you agree with Dana’s conclusion? And is there value in an unstructured interview?

Guest:

Jason Dana, assistant professor of management and marketing at Yale; his research focuses on how people make decisions in managerial and consumer contexts 

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