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General Management, People Management

Too Much Focus on Formal Education Wastes Talent

When managers interview new candidates for a certain position, they all too often approach the interview incorrectly. The site which is linked below describes some common pitfalls and there is nothing more to add really. If all of these are taken as advice and used the next time a job interview is made, then chances are indeed high that a correct candidate is chosen. It is not so much these 10 mistakes which I want to write about, but rather comment 13 – just scroll down on the page linked here.

Comment 13 adds a very interesting afterthought, which I have been convinced off myself for quite some years: the fact that companies all too often focus too much on formal education as a means of evaluating a potential fit for a certain position. As the commenter puts it “Exceptional people won’t make it through HR, and maybe not even the interview process, and possibly not through college.” That is true, although written as it is right here, it also is an over-simplification as well as a generalization, but bear with me…

What I want to say is, that some people have exceptional skills, or the talent mix you need, or the intelligence you require and they have not passed college. By focussing too much on a candidate’s formal education, managers miss out on a lot of great potential candidates. The right talent mix for the job is what you need to look out for, since knowledge and skills can be learned while the person is your employee already. Or in other words, when hiring a goalkeeper, you do not track how many facts he knows about football, you’ll find out about the real talent you need, namely about the talent to be able to keep the ball out of the goal.

10 Mistakes Managers Make During Job Interviews | BNET


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