The Joel on Software Discussion Group (CLOSED)

A place to discuss Joel on Software. Now closed.

This community works best when people use their real names. Please register for a free account.

Other Groups:
Joel on Software
Business of Software
Design of Software (CLOSED)
.NET Questions (CLOSED)
TechInterview.org
CityDesk
FogBugz
Fog Creek Copilot


The Old Forum


Your hosts:
Albert D. Kallal
Li-Fan Chen
Stephen Jones

Evaluating Applicants: The Mondrian Test

Got a stack of 100 resumes you need to pare down?

Line them up in a row and rank each of them on their aesthetic quality.  Basically, is it pleasing or ugly?  Rank from 1-10, 10 being work of art, 1 being bird cage liner.  Then 90 degrees and rank again.  Repeat two more times.  Add up the rank, divide by 4.  That's the applicant's score.

Eliminate all but the highest 25.

Your brain has a very powerful image processor.  An applicant who sends you a resume that looks ugly had to ignore the part of their brain that says THIS IS NOT PLEASING, STOP SHOWING IT TO ME.  You don't even want to talk to these people.

Conversely, your powerful image processor can glance at a row of these and tell right away which it likes and doesn't like.  You can do this dozens of times faster than you would by skimming the resume itself for key words and phrases.

Totally valid.

Tuesday, February 14, 2006
 
 
Depends on the job role. If you want someone who will be developing interfaces, I agrre completely. If you want a backend database/c/assembly type person then these people are often the least artistic.
Adrian
Tuesday, February 14, 2006
 
 
I like to throw away 50% of the resumes at random without looking at them, because I don't want any unlucky people working for me.
Mister Fancypants Send private email
Tuesday, February 14, 2006
 
 
Seriously LOL at the random 50% thing. Best thing I've read in a long time.
J Send private email
Tuesday, February 14, 2006
 
 
Agree.  Very funny.
Not Data Found
Tuesday, February 14, 2006
 
 
Stack of resumes?? Did you last interview for a job sometime in the 90's?
GROK!
Tuesday, February 14, 2006
 
 
Seriously, I have been hearing about how hard it is to find good people to employ.  I am not sure about this stack of resumes stuff, because I know recruiters spend a lot of time contacting people who are already in a job, and who aren't necessarily even looking to be employed somewhere else.
Joshua Volz Send private email
Tuesday, February 14, 2006
 
 
> If you want a backend database/c/assembly type person...
...then reverse the criteria.
SumoRunner Send private email
Tuesday, February 14, 2006
 
 
Yeah, its like dating. When you're alone + single, no one wants to talk to you. When you're hitched up with someone, you get lots of attention/flirting. Perhaps that "I don't want any unlucky people" is why recruiters only contact currently employed people.
Peter
Tuesday, February 14, 2006
 
 
I heard about a training facility that had a sign over the gate: 

If you ain't lucky,
We can't use you.
rkj Send private email
Tuesday, February 14, 2006
 
 
*nothing* programmers do is aesthetically pleasing. Ever have one try to design a UI?
MarkTAW
Tuesday, February 14, 2006
 
 
I like to throw away 50% of the resumes at random without looking at them, because I don't want any unlucky people working for me.

Depending the work place these could be the lucky 50%.
John
Tuesday, February 14, 2006
 
 
When I look at resumes or interview people, I try my best to ignore superficialities that don't correlate with their job performance.
Julian Send private email
Wednesday, February 15, 2006
 
 
Such as?
Berislav Lopac Send private email
Wednesday, February 15, 2006
 
 
"I like to throw away 50% of the resumes at random without looking at them, because I don't want any unlucky people working for me."

Haha! A Ringworld strategy.
Mr. Powers Send private email
Wednesday, February 15, 2006
 
 
You guys need to get out more.
That joke has been around for years.
Dick ShootDuck
Wednesday, February 15, 2006
 
 
Personally, if I see another job application that starts with some wanky bs about the person's aspirations ("I really want to work in a dynamic environment where I can develop my design skills and doing good for the world"...), that will go straight in the reject pile.

I don't care about your personal aspirations.  I don't care about the sort of company you want to work for, or how it will develop your overall character.

Tell me why you are essential for me to have you working for me.  Everyhing else is bs.
Ken Send private email
Wednesday, February 15, 2006
 
 
"Personally, if I see another job application that starts with some wanky bs about the person's aspirations ("I really want to work in a dynamic environment where I can develop my design skills and doing good for the world"...), that will go straight in the reject pile."

Many companies spout similar wanky bs as well. E.g. "come join a dynamic and fast growing environment!", "do you want to work in a fast-paced environment where integrity is highly valued?", etc..
nickelplate Send private email
Wednesday, February 15, 2006
 
 
I never hire a person with a funny shaped head, seriously.

I don't care about gender, race or sexual orientation, just the head.

Seriously.
Mr Garrison
Thursday, February 16, 2006
 
 
"*nothing* programmers do is aesthetically pleasing. Ever have one try to design a UI?" - MarkTAW

I hope that's a joke; and if it is, it's a bad one.
Jordan Stewart Send private email
Thursday, February 16, 2006
 
 
Ken - You presumably know a lot more about your group and what its current needs are than any outsider is likely to.  Why should you expect them to be able to tell you up front what they can do for you when they haven't yet heard what you think you need?  Aside, of course, from generally describing their background and abilities, which is what the resume is for.

Now at the end of the interviewing day, if you wanted to ask them to describe how they think they could contribute to what  they have heard about your group, that's fine.  But interviewing is a two-way street.  You should be trying to sell them on working for you just as much as they are trying to sell you on letting them.  By telling you what they are looking for, they are telling you how to appeal to them, and whether or not your company is likely to do so.  What's wrong with that?
DaveW Send private email
Saturday, February 18, 2006
 
 

This topic is archived. No further replies will be accepted.

Other recent topics Other recent topics
 
Powered by FogBugz