No Rule Book to Help an Interviewer! | DCR Workforce Blog

No Rule Book to Help an Interviewer!

interviewAn interviewer’s job is tough, because a wrong hire is really expensive. It affects the company in monetary terms as well as in productivity. It does not spare the person hired either, whether the severance is voluntary or involuntary. All the so-called wisdom out there about the kind of questions to ask a job applicant, followed by ‘suitable advice’ to job aspirants on how to handle each of these questions is ultimately a cruel waste of everyone’s time. What is more, it leads most of the rookie interviewers down the garden path as some of them blindly accept it all.

If you believe an interview process involves the three steps of screening a resume, interviewing the candidate and validation using reference checks, it is time you modified your approach to suit the times. Take a look at some of these new methods, and put together your own brand of interview using some of these elements:

  • Know what you want: Academic qualifications and professional skills apart, it helps to visualize the kind of person you are looking for. Prepare a detailed job description first and use it to prepare a list of important (essential) attributes, followed by ‘good-to-have’ and then, unimportant aspects. Make it a team project rather than an individual exercise. Culture, character, capability, capacity and even chemistry could go on that list.
  • Rank candidates against your criteria: Pre-assessments are a way to recognize and remove the candidates who do not have the right fit or skills to match your needs before conducting an interview.
  • Try not to look for another you: Do not hire anyone just because they act like you or go to the same club as you or even because they went to your old college. Such feelings of familiarity, bonhomie and comfort may not last and you may be stuck with a wrong hire on your hands. It is also detrimental to diversity, which brings in many benefits in its wake.
  • Challenge the candidate to demonstrate their skills and style of work: In business school, all of us were given case studies and asked to propose the best course of action. Create one that would be encountered in the job, and ask the candidate to respond. This can be done in advance online or on-the-spot. You could also have the candidates take a small test or assessment. You may also consider administering standardized tests and evaluations like MBTI to evaluate the fit offered by the candidate to your organizational culture and expectations. Jobs requiring skills like shooting, driving, flying can be assessed through virtual reality games.
  • LinkedIn Profile: Use the applicants’ LinkedIn profile to assess the candidature, but avoid legal ramifications by making sure that no unwanted information about age, race and other protected attributes are accesses by the recruitment team.– and.
  • Professional Forums and Communities: Use such memberships and relationships as a dependable way to assess a candidate’s caliber and capabilities.
  • Video Resume: Ask the candidate to describe their understanding of and interest in the position in video format. A lot can be deduced through the way it is made and the choice of words and even, facial expressions. Again, be sure that the right controls are in place to avoid potential misuse that can result in claims of discrimination.
  • Request a Work Sample: Evaluate work done by the candidate at other places and other employers. Many jobs, like advertising, writing or modeling, require a candidate to carry a portfolio of work done. To avoid breaches of confidentiality, ask the candidate to remove all company confidential information and references that would identify the company.
  • Assess the Candidate’s Preferences: Verify that the candidate really wants to come on board. One clear indicator of candidate interest is the level of research they have done on your company prior to the interview. If the candidate brings in exceptionally desired skills, consider their preferences and accommodate them sufficiently to make your offer attractive to them.
  • Test your interviewing skills: Managers often make the mistake of assuming that they know how to conduct an interview. In reality, many get side tracked, failing to extract the information needed to determine if the candidate is a great potential fit. Many Human Resources organizations conduct or can suggest courses on interviewing best practices.

Interview Process: Decide on the right interview process for each position. You may choose a quick and short interview, a series of interviews with different company employees, or a group interview. Modify the interview process to make sure that the desired qualities are probed for and identified during the selection process.

  • Video interviews: Interviews over smartphones or Skype can save time and money while ensuring a face to face interaction. Use the latest technological tools, but also remember that you can get a “false read” on a candidate who may be uncomfortable with the technology being used.
  • Simulate using Virtual Reality: Temporary Assignment: Ask the candidate to accept a temporary job assignment that may convert to a permanent position assuming acceptable performance. Co-workers may be involved in providing 360 degree feedback when a candidate is brought on board for a short project.
  • Share Insights with Suppliers: If the candidate is to be brought on as a temporary worker, invest in helping your suppliers understand your vision of the “ideal candidate”. Brief suppliers on upcoming projects that may require incremental resources, giving them the maximum time possible to source candidates. Provide feedback on candidates that are not a fit (explain why) so that they can continuously make adjustments to their sourcing and screening methods.

Interviews are only one step in hiring the best candidate for a given job and the proof of the pudding is almost always in the eating. Interviewers need to apply the most suitable methods identifying the right candidate for a given role. For an organization, it pays to bealert to the possible loopholes in its hiring process. A good approach is to use exit interviews to assess and identify the loophole in your hiring process as you keep looking for ways to improve the process.

One final but important thing to keep in mind – the candidate is interviewing you while you are interviewing the candidate. Are you clearly and accurately describing the job requirements and work environment? Do you come across as someone that can lead an organization? Are you truly interested in choosing the best candidate? What will you do to minimize the time it takes to bring a new worker up to speed? Keep in mind that your objective is to find and retain the best person for the job. What you say and do in the interview will be remembered by the individual you engage or hire. If the actual work situation differs greatly from your description, the individual will be unprepared or not motivated to make the contribution you are looking for.

The content on this blog is for informational purposes only and cannot be construed as specific legal advice or as a substitute for competent legal advice. They reflect the opinions of DCR Workforce and may not reflect the opinions of any individual attorney. Do contact an attorney for advice specific to your issue or problem.
Lalita is a people/project manager with extensive experience in operations, HCM and training and development across industries like banking, education, business consulting, BPO and information technology. She believes in a dynamic approach to life and learning as change is the only constant.