Human resource professional’s trying to find better ways of evaluating candidates spends more than a century. One of the approaches is by using biodata. The interview consists of asking questions about his or her past behaviour, typically on a form; in the belief the answer will help them to predict how one’s performance in the workplace. The origin of biodata was because of insurance industry. Colonel Thomas L.Peters, at industry convention in 1894 proposed asking a list of standardised questions for would be insurance agents. The employer should be able to predict the fitment for the role; behaviour predicts behaviour. A person, who won award for performance in research in the past is likely to invent and win more awards or prize.
A classic biota questions dates from world war II. Military psychologists had designed a state of the art questionnaires covering background, interest, and education. The questionnaire filled by candidate was compared to how they subsequently fared in the role. The one answered with honesty were found to be likely to succeed. The passion of doing it forever – they would stick with it, no matter how many times they failed or succeeded in the previous attempts.
Biodata has gone in and out fashion several times. Sometimes it is believed that it’s crude tool to identify ‘creative’ innovators and managers or visionaries for the employers.