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Against recruitment panel interviews

In my first years as a group leader, I had the chance to interview PhD candidates in panels at international calls for students. I quickly stopped interviewing students, but back then I was very surprised that the top candidates often proved less productive than those we had ranked mediocre. How was this possible at all? Panels are unbiased, they combine multiple expertises, they allow for critical discussion, so they should be able to pick the best candidates... right?

It turns out to be less surprising than I thought. Now a little more familiar with the dangers of panel interviews, I decided to see what our colleagues from the academia have to say about it. This is of course where I should have started before interviewing PhD students, but better late than never. If you haven’t met them, let me introduce you to the flaws of the mighty recruitment panel interview...

1. The unproved efficiency of panels

A good place to start. Despite forty years of research, the benefit of recruitment panels over single evaluators is still debated. According to a review published in 2009

Findings to date suggest that panel interviews might not necessarily provide the psychometric...






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