Posts Tagged ‘interviewing’

Poor Hiring Interviews

June 19th, 2017

I’m a horrible interviewer. In the past, when I’ve had a need to hire a person, I interviewed for personality only.  Did my own personality match well with the other person? Did we have an engaging conversation? Did I see them fitting into Raleigh Consulting Group? My first impression of someone usually didn’t predict future job success. I was going about it the wrong way.  This New York Times article “The Utter Uselessness of Job Interviews” confirms what I already knew, that unplanned interviews are not a smart or efficient way to find the best fit for a position.

“This is a widespread problem. Employers like to use free-form, unstructured interviews to “get to know” a job candidate” writes Jason Dana. He explains that in 1979 a study was conducted at the University of Texas Medical School at Houston to see if interviewers could predict future performance of medical school candidates. They could not accurately predict future performance or attrition.  Research that he and his colleagues have conducted shows that the problem with interviews is worse than irrelevance. They can be harmful. They can undercut the impact of other, more valuable information about interviewees.  According to this article, the key psychological insight here is that people have no trouble turning any information into a coherent narrative. So great is people’s confidence in their ability to glean valuable information from a face to face conversation that they feel they can do so even if they know they are not being dealt with squarely. But they are wrong.
What can be done?

From the article along with my suggestions based on the experiences I have working with my clients.

1. Conduct a Job-Related Benchmark: Understand what the job wants. Employ the help of subject matter experts in your company to find out what the position is accountable for accomplishing. Often, the owner or leader of the company think they know what the job wants, but the best people to ask are the top performing employees in the position you are seeking to hire.
2. Structure Job Related Interviews: Ask all candidates the same questions. This procedure makes interviews more reliable and predictive of job success. Once you’ve gathered information about the candidate’s credentials and skills, compare them to some of your top performing employees. Do they share similar qualities? Are they driven by the same things? Are they comfortable in the same work environment where they will be?

3. Create Job Related Simulations: Have candidates complete a simulation of the job they are applying for. I know that this is hard in some instances, so if you can’t physically have them complete a simulation, bring up real-life scenarios. Ask them how they would solve an issue with a customer, how they would mentor an employee or what they would propose as a leader of a business to move it forward. Hearing their ideas will give you insight into how they deal with people, pace and procedures.

It’s always worth the investment to search for the perf ect candidate. Most times onboarding the wrong person is detrimental to the organization’s culture, and you’re not doing a favor to a candidate who will eventually grow to dislike their work, dislike you and not perform to the best of their abilities if they’ve been selected for the wrong position. Fit is key.

To read the article yourself, click here.

For more information on how we benchmark, go here.