Jeff and Joel keep hinting that people are starting to look at SO users to determine the quality of programmer they are during the interview process. This hasn't happened where I am, but I anticipate that someone applying for a job is going to use their SO id as a way of showing how good they are.
My question is: How would you validate they are who they say they are? Obviously, I couldn't go to an interview, and say I was Jon Skeet (or if I did pass that off as being correct, I don't think I would want to work there). He has his name and picture up, but what about some other high poster who doesn't use his or her real name or just part of their name? As far as I can tell, there is no real easy way to verify a person's account outside of asking them to log in to SO while they are at the interview.
Update to comment:
I'm not saying rep is an indicator, but there are several things which could be used to help determine ability. The specialist badge for one, or how about being in the top 20 posters for a tag. If someone came in and proved they were say number 14 of the top 20 posters for SQL, you wouldn't give that more weight than them not having it?
Update number two: Here's where I am going with this. If someone is going to lie, chances are they've gotten kinda good at it, unless they are an imbecile (granted this is possible). Lying about having an SO account wouldn't get you the job in most places, but it might tip the scale. By nature, most people are trusting, and won't scrutinize everything someone else says. If people did no one would get scammed. Casually mentioning it to the hiring manager, or an HR person without their knowledge of how the site worked could plant the idea in their head to check it out. Also, directly asking someone to prove what they are saying is a little infuriating to most people too. Really. If you said you went to college X and the company immediately turned around and said, "Bring your degree. We want to see the actual paper." What would you say, you may not be angry, but you may be a little surprised? Most people are not confrontational, and won't directly challenge what someone says, because they don't want an adverse reaction. Plus they have the company's image to protect and angering candidates that walk in the door to interview quickly spreads.
Last Edit: I will fully admit, this is purely selfish question on my part as I am not part of the hiring process here. I really fear that one of these days the hiring group is going to hear someone go, I'm so and so on SO. They'll check it out, and tell the rest of us that they found this really neat person without ever verifying anything. I would make them login, but something tells me, most people will not take the same approach as I would to hiring.