Has the job interview had its day?

In the age of remote working, workplace traditions are being put under the microscope. Hoxby Collective’s Alex Hirst reveals the benefits of scrapping interviews.

by Orianna Rosa Royle
Last Updated: 30 Sep 2020

As COVID-19 restrictions ramp-up with no clear end in sight, the days of shaking hands across the table from a nervous job applicant seem a distant memory.

Maybe now's a good time to give the whole interview process a radical virtual makeover.

At fully remote marcomms business The Hoxby Collective, the application process has always been online, the in-person interview replaced with a simple form designed to tease out the candidates' creativity. To date, it's received answers including short films, paintings and even a recipe (and yes, that candidate was successful).

Hoxby's joint CEO, Alex Hirst, talks us through the benefits of recruitment sans interview.


"Our recruitment process involves answering just two questions - why do you want to be at Hoxby and what does the work style movement* mean to you? But they can answer those in any way they like. 

"We’ve had all sorts of things that enable people to convey their unique self to us. Someone's created a video using Lego characters.

"Importantly what we're trying to do is remove cognitive bias from the process wherever possible, to be as inclusive as possible and judge people on what they do rather than what they say. 

"Recruiting virtually enables us to understand how competent somebody is at working virtually remotely. We want people who are going to work well in our operating environment and can communicate about themselves in their own way. Not people who are brilliant at interviews.

"By large, that's what we end up with. Very occasionally, we have situations where people hired haven't delivered what we hoped they would. It's very rarely about competence, it's usually misunderstanding."

* Hoxby's 'work style movement' is an approach to flexible working that invites people to work at times and in places that suit them

Image credit: JGI/Jamie Grill via Getty Images

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