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    Tech Planet, of Menlo Park, CA: Applicant testing process

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    Tech Planet, of Menlo Park, CA, uses weekly lunches and "wacky follow-up sessions" as substitutes for first-round job interviews. During the informal meals, potential employees are expected to mingle, and they are then reviewed by the Tech Planet employees they meet at the luncheons. One Tech Planet employee asks candidates to ride a unicycle in her office to see if "they'll bond with the corporate culture or not." Toward the end of the screening process, the surviving group of interviewees has to solve brainteasers, and then openly evaluate their fellow candidates' strengths and weaknesses.
    The group should arrive at answers regarding the following set of questions:

    1. What issues with screening might this form of interviewing elicit?

    2. Is this form of candidate selection likely to increase or decrease diversity at Tech Planet?

    3. Does this methodology raise concerns about reliability and validity? If so,how?

    4. What do you think would be a better methodology at Tech Planet and why?

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    Solution Preview

    The question describes a non-conventional form of recruitment/ selection procedure as a substitute for preliminary interviews. Then it wants you to mention the issues such a selection process raises, the effect on diversity of this process, the validity and reliability of such a method and suggestions for a better method.

    The question makes several assumptions, first that every candidate will allow himself to be subjected to puerile requests like riding a unicycle. Some candidates will say that the process is unfair and may even sue the company. Second, the question presupposes that the candidates will evaluate others, here too there can be resistance and the impression created on the candidates would be that the process was not fair.

    Given below is a template to help you answer the questions.

    Issues with screening and appraisal this form of interviewing elicits.
    1. When they mingle to an extent their social skills are observed but these are more likely to be "party skills" rather ...

    Solution Summary

    Here is just a sample of what you'll find in this solution:

    "The interviewers it seems are trying to test the unicycle driving skills of the employee. This appears to be irrelevant to the selection process unless the task of the employees is to move about on unicycles!"