100th anniversary of the job interview: TikTok through the ages

November 21st, 2021
Chelsea Kilpack
Video Interviewing

This year marks the 100th anniversary of the job interview, and one look back in time is all it takes to see how interviews today are infinitely better than they were in the past. Take pre-employment tests as an example, Thomas Edison came up with the first version in 1921, a monstrous 146-question quiz for applicants to his power plant. Candidates were asked a bizarre series of questions with no bearing on their ability to perform the jobs at hand. Questions included:

  • Who invented logarithms?
  • How far is it from New York to Liverpool? 
  • Where do we get domestic sardines?

The test was so notorious that the New York Times panned it as, “a test of a man’s memory and store of miscellaneous information, rather than of his knowledge, reasoning power or intelligence.” Even Albert Einstein couldn’t pass the test!

A TikTok trip back in time

Sometimes it’s easier to show than tell when it comes to progress, which is why we’ve partnered with Jackie Todd for a little reminder of just how far we’ve come in creating a better interview experience.

@jackietodd_##ad Learn how to ace your video interview by going to https://www.hirevue.com/candidates ##interviewtips ##interviewmoment ##comedyskits ##hirevue ##ad♬ original sound - Jackie Todd


Looking forward to even more fairness

Fortunately, the world of hiring has come a long way since asking about domestic sardines -  with a quantum leap in the last 17 years in particular - because, you know, that’s when HireVue was founded.  

Progress hasn’t just come from tossing big, scary written tests in the bin. It has come from embracing rigorous research in the field of IO psychology and combining that job-relevant information with the cutting-edge technology of today.

But the most notable milestones in hiring over the last century aren’t ones we can take credit for - it's the vast web of legislative protections put in place to democratize hiring. Everything we do at HireVue is built upon the legal protections put in place to protect marginalized groups. Some of those milestones include:

  • The Fair Labor Standards Act which codified the 40-hour workweek
  • 1964 Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 prohibits employment discrimination based on race, color, religion, sex or national origin.
  • Publication of the EEOC’s Uniform Guidelines on Employee Selection Procedures
  • The Americans with Disabilities Act 1990

We hope you got a laugh from Jackie, but more than that, here’s to the next 100 years of the interview and continuing growth to make it fairer and faster through a combination of research, technology and regulation

If you’ve got an upcoming HireVue, be sure to visit our Candidate center for tips on how to prepare.