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Jonathan Hall
Jonathan Hall

Posted on • Originally published at on

Hiring, Fast and Slow

In his book, Thinking, Fast and Slow, author Daniel Kahneman explains that humans have two systems of thinking, which he creatively calls “System 1” and “System 2”.

System 1 is fast, insinctive and emotional.

When you hear a fire alarm go off, and you rush out of the office building, this is system 1 at play.

System 2 is slower, more deliberate and more logical.

When you’re trying to decide where to go on vacation, you’re using system 2.

What does this have to do with hiring?

A lot of hiring screening is focused on system 1.

“Trivia” quizzes, timed coding challenges, even timeboxed conversations. These all favor fast, on-your-feet types of thinking. System 1.

But here’s the thing…

In IT, success on the job hinges a lot more on System 2 thinking.

Deciding on the optimal architecture for your project, debugging complex code, and even writing documentation are all System 2 processes.

What can we do to overcome this disconnect? Please share your thoughts with me!

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