While some tasks in Sourcing can be automated, a Sourcer cannot! These two questions can serve well in an interview when assessing the candidate’s ability to search – and to think while searching.
Question #1. Will Google find every page that is on the web?
The answer is, of course, “no” (if the interviewee says “yes,” that is a huge red flag!), but it is a beginning of collective brainstorming and open-ended questions that can follow.
Correct, Google cannot find most pages on sites where you pay for a membership and log in to get access. It will not find most pages on sites where the membership is free, but you need to log in to get access, either. It will not find most pages that are created “dynamically,” as a response to someone’s query – though it might find some. It will not find most pages that other pages don’t link to. There is a lot more to discuss here.
Why ask this question? It’s a critically important skill for someone who mines the web for information to know what can and cannot be found by search engines vs. specific sites.
Question #2. How would you look for this person’s full profile?
(A related question is – did this person set their profile as “hidden” in the preferences? If the interviewee doesn’t provide the correct answer, that is a minus. A big one.)
If the person says – “we can reverse-search the photo” or “we can Google the phrases on the profile” – that are both fine answers, from someone who did the homework! However, that reflects a bit of an “automatic” quality in sourcing as well. You would want a person on your team that has her eyes open. In this case, you would want the person, ideally, say – “look, it’s right here in the URL!” – and -“I would remove everything beyond the question mark and look again.” You’d want them to be interested in testing it out (assuming this “feature” is new to them.)
This particular question would be relevant only for so long (though this particular “hole” has been around for a few months now), but it shouldn’t be hard to come up with other simple questions that test approaches. Thinking, creative, curious, open-minded would be the candidate’s qualities we are looking for.
If you are looking to update your Boolean search skills, join me for the upcoming webinar later this week –
300 Best Boolean Strings for 2017 (Thu Jan 21st) –
coinciding with the second (updated, expanded) edition of the Boolean Book.