Guest Column | May 21, 2021

Alleviate Hiring Headaches With This One Simple Step

By Jim Roddy, VP of Marketing & VAR/ISV Business Advisor at the RSPA


An IT executive friend of mine recently shared this hiring dilemma on LinkedIn:

So a funny thing happened just now. During an interview, the candidate asked me if I was going to give him an “assignment” to complete. I told him I had not planned on it … and then I saw confusion cover his face. Apparently all his prior interviews had requested him to complete some sort of assignment during the interview process. I’m not sure what I would even “assign” someone for a Customer Success role. How do other people feel about interview assignments? Is this something I should consider adding to my interview process? Where can I find some good resources on this? Thanks in advance.

Here’s my advice for her (and you) based on my 20+ years as a hiring manager:

Require every viable candidate to complete a simple assignment that reveals their:

  • ability to follow directions
  • communication skills
  • decision-making skills
  • attention to detail
  • ability to meet a deadline
  • ability to handle criticism
  • desire for the job

At the end of the interview, hand the candidate a piece of paper (or if it’s a virtual interview, shoot them an email) with these directions:

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