History Of The Job Interview [Infographic]

joseph cole

Updated on May 10, 2023

Job interviews can be a time-consuming exercise for the hiring company. However, they play a key role in determining whether the company and candidate will make an effective match. The interviewing process provides a great deal of value for both the company and the candidate. The modern job Interview has an interesting history. Here’s how it all started: 

In the year 1917, Robert S. Woodworth, an American psychologist, drafted Woodworth’s Personal Data Sheet. This test was developed to evaluate soldiers in World War I for the United States Army. Woodworth’s Data Sheet, created to screen recruits for shell shock risk, is now commonly cited as the first objective personality test. 

The test became massively popular within no time. It was imitated in other industries to screen out employees who won’t adjust to the workplace, the purpose was to judge candidates on cultural fitment. 

In the year 1921, Thomas Edison created a written test to evaluate the knowledge of candidates for employment at his company. The Edison Test was a post-application screening tool administered to would-be executives at Thomas Edison, Inc. and the precursor to the modern job interview. 

It was in the mid-90s that candidate assessment tests began to move from an in-person interview to an online screening tool, all thanks to the emergence of the Internet. 

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