How to Interview Candidates Effectively: 3 Simple Ways

How to make your job interviews more effective at predicting job performance? Here are 3 simple ways!

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Do we need a more effective way to interview candidates?

Here are 2 interesting statistics:

  • Recent research has found that nearly three in four employers (74 percent) say they’ve hired the wrong person for a position.
  • According to Career Builder, a single bad hire can cost a company upwards of $50,000.

I rest my case.

How to make your job interview more effective?

Here are 3 easy ways to make your job interview more effective at predicting job performance:

1. Conduct a structured interview

Structured job interviews are more efficient than semi-structured or structured interviews when it comes to predicting job performance. Meta-analysis research shows that structured interviews are up to twice as effective at predicting job performance than unstructured ones!

Take action now:  Prepare interview questions before the interview and ask each of your candidates the same questions in the same order.

2. Conduct a behavioral interview

Research shows that behavioral interviews are more valid and accurate for making hiring decisions. Behavioral interviews are based on the evaluation of candidates’ past behaviors. In other words, in a behavioral interview, an interviewer asks candidates about their past work experience and performance.

Take action now: Check out the best examples of behavioral interview questions!

3. Do a job simulation

According to LinkedIn’s report, only 32% of respondents use this technique, even though 84% say it is effective. In a job simulation, you ask your candidates to complete the type of tasks they would work on if hired.

Take action now:  Think of a great job simulation exercise for your currently open job position. Depending on the role you are looking to fill, it could be a task to write a short copy, outline a presentation, solve a certain problem, brainstorm a few ideas, solve a certain problem, etc.

Conclusion

Stop relying on your gut feeling when hiring and start using data backed techniques. Implementing any of these 3 tips are guaranteed to make your job interview more predictive of your candidates’ job performance.

 

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Why Aren’t You Using This Super Effective Interview Technique?

This technique is incredibly effective at predicting candidates’ success in the role.

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Which interview technique do you use?

There are many different interview techniques and methods. You probably have your own favorite technique for conducting job interviews with candidates.

Unfortunately, most HR professionals still rely on the traditional interviewing methods which are highly ineffective.

What’s wrong with your current interview technique?

In their recent research, LinkedIn surveyed over 9,000 talent leaders and hiring managers across the globe and asked them which interview methods they find most effective.

They found that the traditional job interview technique – you know, the one where you ask your candidates about their skills and experiences in order to find out if they’re a good fit for your open job position – is ineffective in certain areas. According to LinkedIn’s report, the traditional interviewing technique has many weaknesses.

For example, traditional interview technique is especially bad at assessing soft skills and understanding candidate weaknesses. It also leaves room for recruitment bias, takes a lot of time, and relies on asking the right interview questions to get a clear picture of a candidate.

Luckily, there is a highlight to this story! LinkedIn’s research has also found about the highly effective but often overlooked interviewing technique – work assignments.  

Super effective interview technique you should be using

LinkedIn has found out that work assignments are highly effective, yet often overlooked interviewing technique used by employers. Only 32% of respondents use this technique, even though 84% say it is effective.

What are work assignments?

Work assignments are interview technique that helps companies predict if a candidate if a good fit for a role more accurately.

When candidates are given a work assignment, they are being asked to complete a task they would actually do if they were hired. In other words, when you use this interview technique, you don’t ask candidates to tell you about their about their skills. Instead, you directly observe candidates’ skills and performance.

Work assignments types

Besides giving your candidates a certain task, job simulations can take on a more elaborated form. For example, you can organize a competition (such as hackathon), or invite your candidate to join your employees in a brainstorming session and help them solve a real-life problem your company is currently facing.

Additional benefits of work assignments

Besides for employer, job simulations are also beneficial for candidates, too. By taking part in a job simulation, candidates get a real-life job preview, which helps them assess how much they really like to job. Simply put, they can try out a job and see if it fits!

 

Evaluating Work Ethic: Top 5 Interview Questions to Ask Candidates

Discover the most effective job interview questions for evaluating candidates’ work ethic.

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Why should you look for a strong work ethic in candidates?

A strong work ethic is the most desired characteristic in a new employee, according to many employers. Why is that?

It is because candidates with extensive relevant experience and the right skills won’t be an asset for a company unless they exhibit a strong work ethic.

In other words, qualification and skills aren’t enough to guarantee that a candidate will be successful in a job. Besides great qualifications, work experience and skills, a top candidate will also exhibit a will to work hard and dedicated.

What is the best way to evaluate work ethic in candidates?

You can’t really assess a candidate’s work ethic by resume alone. When you’re trying to recognize a strong work ethic, it is important to look beyond your candidates’ qualification and skills.

In order to find if your candidate is a hard-working, reliable, dedicated, punctual and responsible employee, you should use behavioral interview questions.

Interview questions for evaluating work ethic

Here are top 5 job interview questions designed specifically to evaluate candidate’s work ethic:

  1. Can you describe a time when you went the extra mile at work?

  2. When things are slow at work or you’ve finished your tasks, what do you do?

  3. How do you define work ethic? What does it mean to you?

  4. When have you worked the hardest? Describe the situation and explain your motivation.

  5. Give an example of when you completed a difficult task that made you work harder than normal.

By asking these job interview questions, you can easily uncover candidates with a strong work ethic. The best candidates will be able to provide detailed, real-life examples of their previously demonstrated inclination to work hard and go the extra mile.

Additional resources

➡️ If you’re looking for more great interviewing questions, you’ll find more examples in our blog post: Questions to ask candidates in a job interview.

➡️ If you would like to improve your overall interviewing skills, check out our Guide: How to be a good interviewer.

Do You Conduct Phone Screening Interviews? Here is Why You Should!

Implementing this simple screening routine can have a hugely beneficial impact on your recruiting process – and results!

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A simple, yet often overlooked recruiting practice

Do you regularly conduct phone screening interviews?
If not, you are missing on an opportunity to significantly improve your recruitment process – and results.

Implementing a simple practice such as phone screening interviews as a regular phase of your recruitment process will help you find better candidates faster and easier.

➡️ If you’re struggling to find suitable candidates, check out our free eBook: The Ultimate Guide for Finding Qualified Candidates in 2019!

The benefits of phone screening interviews

Here are the top 6 benefits of phone interview screening:

1. Shorter time to hire

By conducting phone interviews in the early phase of the interviewing process, employers can save time and money that would otherwise be wasted on meeting unsuitable candidates face to face.

2. Lower cost per hire

By narrowing your applicant pool early on in the selection process, employers can significantly cut down on the recruiting costs.  

3. Improved the quality of hire

Phone interviews are primarily used as a screening method which helps an employer eliminate unsuitable for a position.

4. Tests candidates’ phone communication skills

Phone interviews are an especially important part of the hiring process for positions which require great telephone communication skills.

5. Reduced bias

A properly conducted phone screening interview minimizes the impact of first impressions, thus improving the objectivity of the selection process and reducing bias in recruitment.

6. Improved candidate experience

Even candidates who don’t you don’t end up calling for a face-to-face interview will feel that you’ve given them a chance, time and attention. Conducting phone screening interviews is a simple, yet very effective way to improve the candidate experience.

How to conduct a phone interview?

Here are 5 easy tips to ensure a proper phone screening interview:

1.  Format

Phone screening interviews should be formatted as structured job interviews. This means that you should ask every candidate the same interview questions in the same order.

2. Questions

Keep the question short and simple. Make a list of your top 10 phone interview questions to ask candidates in a phone interview.

3. Scorecards

Develop the rating system for your interview questions and create appropriate interview scorecards.

4. Interviews

Schedule an interview by sending customized phone interview invitation email template and conduct interviews with your candidates.

5. Make notes

Taking notes of your candidate’s answers during an interview is mandatory for objective assessment.

6. Compare the candidates

Rate every candidate based on his/her answers and then compare candidates against each other.

 

Pros and Cons of Group Interviews

When should you use a group interview? Discover the advantages and disadvantages of conducting group interviews!

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Group interviews: A totally different interviewing experience

A group interview is a job interview with multiple candidates being interviewed in the same time.

Conducting a group interview is quite different than conducting a regular one-on-one job interview or a panel interview, which has multiple interviewers but just one candidate.

Conducting a group interview requires profound interviewing skills because interviewers have to manage a group and observe multiple candidates at once.

Although group interviews are more demanding for interviewers and candidates, they have several important advantages.

In this article, we will examine them so you can evaluate how they fit with your hiring needs and decide if they worth your time and effort.

6 key advantages of a group interview

Group interviews have many advantages compared to classical, one-on-one job interviews.

Here are some of the most important advantages of group interviews:

  1. Reduce time to hire

In group interviews, interviewers can evaluate multiple candidates in the same time slot, thus saving the time needed that would otherwise be spent on scheduling and conducting many one-on-one interviews.

  1. Reduce cost per hire

Group interviews are much more affordable than one-on-one interviews. Interviewing more candidates at shorter time result with a significant reduction of costs associated with interviewing process, including revenue costs and HR professionals’ fees.

  1. Offer a unique opportunity for observing candidates in the group setting

Group interviews offer a unique chance for employers to see how candidates function in a group. By observing how a candidate behaves in a group and work with others, employers can easily find candidates with impressive teamwork and even leadership skills.

  1. Reduce interviewing biases

Group interviews are often conducted by more than one interviewer. Reduced bias and inaccuracy are just one of the many benefits of collaborative recruiting. Multiple observers of the same candidate behavior are proven to provide a more accurate evaluation of candidates.

  1. Are a great way to see candidates’ skills in action

Group interviews allow interviewers to directly observe candidates’ soft skills in action, instead of only relying on what candidates say about themselves. Group interviews offer a unique opportunity for interviewers to test candidates’ teamwork, communication and stress management skills.

5 key disadvantages of a group interview

As all other interviewing techniques, group interviews have certain disadvantages as well. Here are the key disadvantages of group interview you should consider.

Group interviews:

  1. Require special highly skilled interviewers

  2. Are not suitable for every personality type

  3. Are only useful for certain positions

  4. Offer no anonymity

  5. Are impersonal

Are group interviews the right choice for your hiring needs?

Conducting group interviews is a good fit for hiring needs of employers who:

  1. Want to fill a position quickly

  2. Need to fill multiple similar positions

  3. Need an effective way to screen a large number of similar applicants

  4. Want to find great communicators and potential leaders

  5. Are interviewing recent graduates.

If you decide to take a chance on group interviews, check out The Best Guide for Conducting Group Interviews!

Difference between structured, unstructured and semi-structured job interviews

Difference between structured, unstructured and semi-structured job interviews

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There are 3 main types of job interviews: structured, semi-structured and unstructured job interviews. In this article you will learn the differences between them so you can decide which one is your best choice for assessing candidates. Tips & tricks for conducting a great interview included!

Job interview types

Recruiters and human resources professionals divide job interviews into 3 different types:

  • Structured interviews
  • Unstructured interviews
  • Semi-structured interviews

Structured interview

A structured interview is a type of interview in which the interviewer asks questions which are planned and created in advance.
Tips&tricks for conducting structured interviews:

  1. Prepare interview questions to ask candidates in advance.
  2. Develop a scale for grading candidates answers.
  3. Take detailed notes of each candidate’s answers.

Unstructured interview

An unstructured interview is a type of interview in which the interviewer asks questions as they arise spontaneously in a free flowing conversation.
Tips&tricks for conducting unstructured interviews:

  1. Keep in mind specific experiences and qualities you are looking for in candidates.
    2. Feel free to explore specific interesting points from your candidate’s resume.
  2. Develop each next questions based on your the candidate’s answer.

Semi-structured interview

Semi-structured interview is a type of interview in which some questions are predetermined and others arise spontaneously during conversation.

Tips&tricks for conducting semi-structured interviews:

     1. Create basic set of interview questions to ask your candidates.

  1. Customize your follow up questions based on your candidates’ answer.
  2. Return to your basic set of questions and repeat the whole process.

Which type of job interview should you use?

You should choose the right type of interview based on the needs of your candidate persona. Create representation of your ideal candidate by defining the characteristics, skills, and traits that make up your perfect hire.

Try to put yourself in your candidate persona’s shoes. Create questions which would allow your candidate person to show of her/his best qualities and skills.

Importance of choosing the right job interview type

Choosing the right type of job interview will help you find and hire your ideal job candidate, improve your candidate experience and make your recruiting efforts more effective and successful.

The Conversation Paradox: Why 100% of Interviews Are Biased

The Conversation Paradox: Why 100% of Interviews Are Biased

In a recent New York Times article, The Utter Uselessness of Job Interviews, Jason Dana, Assistant Professor of Management and Marketing at the Yale School of Management, explores the biases surrounding the unstructured interview process. He observes that:

“…interviewers typically form strong but unwarranted impressions about interviewees, often revealing more about themselves than the candidates.”

Throughout the article, Dana cites, Belief in the Unstructured Interview: The Persistence of an Illusion, a study he conducted in 2013 with 140 student subjects. To test the effectiveness of interviews in predicting a student’s GPA, Dana broke students into two groups. While both sets of students used past GPA and course schedule to make predictions, only one group was interviewed. The results of the study showed that GPA predictions were more accurate for the students not interviewed. In other words, the interviews muddled the data and negatively impacted the decision-making process. 

Regression analyses of the accuracy GPA predictions

Conversations Are Biased

Something occurred during the interviewing process that led the interviewer to misidentify which interviewees were best qualified and thus most likely to succeed. This ‘something’ is the collection of biases that often come up through the course of conversation or what we, at Wade & Wendy, refer to as conversational bias.

Conversational bias is the set of biases that influence the quality and quantity of data extrapolated during the course of a conversation. At a high level, it includes two key components:

  • Set of biases refers to external factors, including everything from confirmation biases and preconceived notions to physical environment and mood, that influence how a person engages in a conversation.
  • The quality and quantity of data refers to the information learned during the course of a conversation and how helpful it is in facilitating good decision-making.

The data learned through conversation is inherently incomplete and/or misleading due to the external factors and biases that influence engagement and perception. This is clearly demonstrated in the study above, where subjects were better able to identify future success for students whom they had never met over students that they had met. While not explicitly referred to as ‘conversational bias,’ the issues it perpetuates have been studied time and time again.

Interviews Are Biased

There is information asymmetry between the data learned in a job description and the data learned from a resume. Former SVP of People Operations at Google, Laszlo Bock, says about this paradigm:

“[having] a taxonomy of skills and abilities that are hard to articulate, and resumes don’t do a good job of capturing them. Employers have a set of jobs, but are terrible at both articulating what they need, and actually filtering candidates.”

Essentially, the two forms (resume and job description) used to determine a job seeker’s ability to fulfill the requirements of a job both contain incomplete data. It is for this reason that a conversation — often in the form of an initial phone screen or a first-round interview — is necessary to resolve this asymmetry. This initial conversation allows candidates to better understand the requirements of the job and allows hiring managers to gather information not found in the resume.

It is at this point in the hiring process that conversational bias comes into play.

For example, imagine a hiring manager has a full day of interviews lined up. Throughout the day, he/she becomes increasingly fatigued and, as a result, asks poorer questions and takes fewer notes as the day goes on. Because the conversation and the subsequent data gathered about each candidate is different, it becomes impossible to compare candidate to candidate accurately.

The Problem

In Dana’s Belief in the Unstructured Interview study, GPA, course schedule and an interview were used to predict future success. Results showed that the assessments were less accurate when interviews were included in the decision-making process. In effect, the interviewers were counterproductive.

The Other Problem

To fill the information gap that exists between resume and job description, a conversation must take place. Applicants need clarification on the requirements of the role, just as hiring managers need to gather information not found within the resume.

The Paradox

These problems present two interesting concepts: 1) Conversations are biased and 2) Conversations are necessary. This is what we, at Wade & Wendy, call “The Conversation Paradox.”

Looking Ahead

While the very act of conversation has been proven to introduce numerous biases, it remains a critical part of the hiring process. To date, many solutions have been proposed, such as Dana’s suggestion to use structured interviews, but these solutions do not go far enough. Rather,

  • What if there were an artificially intelligent tool smart enough to have a conversation without bias?
  • What if there were an artificially intelligent tool agile enough to converse with 100% of candidates 100% of the time?

At Wade & Wendy, we are eagerly working on this solution. To join the conversation, chat with us on Twitter… We’re passionate about conversation, after all: @wadeandwendy.

About the Author:

Bailey Newlan is the Content & Growth Marketer at Wade & Wendy, a New York City-based startup on a mission to make hiring more human. Wade & Wendy’s artificially intelligent chatbot personalities bring clarity and simplicity to the hiring process. Wade is an always-on career guide for job seekers, while Wendy assists hiring managers throughout the recruitment process. To connect, reach out to Bailey via LinkedIn, Twitter or Medium and don’t forget to join the beta list.✌️


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HR's Aversion To AI Will Affect Its Ability To Hire

HR’s Aversion To AI Will Affect Its Ability To Hire

Artificial Intelligence

Successful hiring should be based on evidence based decisions supported by technology and automation but HR remains slow to respond. PwC’s 20th Global CEO Survey found that nearly half (47%) of UK CEOs are failing to address the impact AI and automation will have on their businesses (compared to 31% globally and just 19% in Germany). As 83% of UK CEOs rank access to skills as their number one barrier to business success in the next 12 months, this needs to change.

Why the reluctance to engage?

HR has often demonstrated a wariness of data and more recently automation and AI, exacerbated by recent headlines including:

  • Fukoku Mutual Life Insurance in Japan announced its intention to automate the jobs of over 30 employees, replacing them with IBM’s Watson Explorer. According to the Nomura Research Institute, half of all jobs in Japan could be performed by robots by 2035.
  • A similar scenario was projected in the UK, with the prospect of 15 million jobs being eradicated by AI, shortly after an announcement that outsourcing specialist Capita was replacing 2,000 of its employees with automation.
  • The world’s largest hedge fund, Bridgewater Associates intends to automate three-quarters of its hiring decisions over the next five years. The company is building a robotic recruitment platform to remove ‘emotional volatility’ from business decision.

How AI and automation empower HR

AI and automation offer a number of benefits for HR:

Talent pipeline : In its simplest form automation identifies issues in your talent pipeline, such as, qualified candidates abandoning a prolonged application process. Algorithms are also used to reveal factors which improve employee engagement and identify leadership potential. This is relevant in a week when a Robert Half survey found that that half of all candidates for management level roles don’t possess leadership skills.

More effective candidate selection : HR has historically relied on standard but limited candidate selection criteria, such as interview performance or an emphasis on technical skills or qualifications but that isn’t sufficient to predict a quality hire. Broader, evidence based HR is needed to support effective candidate selection, which algorithms in your recruitment software offer.

Potential flight risks : Combined with predictive analytics, algorithms can also predict potential flight risks in your organisation. With an expected talent exodus in 2017 understanding why your high achievers leave is critical. Typical ‘prompts’ include birthdays (especially milestones) and work anniversaries but your own recruitment metrics will provide more insight.

Reduction in bias : Automation and AI help to eradicate unconscious bias. This is exemplified by the tendency to hire so-called ‘brogrammers’ across the US’s Silicon Valley, fuelling the image of a male dominated tech culture. Closer scrutiny revealed that the majority attended elite schools and secured their jobs through friends or the tech fraternity. AI start-up Tara.ai aims to change that bias. Tara removes information relating to age, gender, previous employment, education and race to assess candidates based on the quality of their work – analysing and ranking programmers’ code – rather than their personal connections or background. Selecting specific criteria within your applicant tracking software helps to achieve the same results.

Technology needs the human touch

Should HR be wary? Algorithms in the hiring process have been proven to make better hiring decisions than humans but the role of HR, while shifting, is integral to the future of AI.

The following strategies can help to make the vital transition to evaluating the benefits of AI and automation in hiring:

  • Technology is only as effective as the information gathered. Inputting bad data will produce poor quality results. The quality of your data is vital.
  • When posting open jobs, understand the precise skills you need from your new hire. A candidate persona improves recruitment success for either high volume or stand-alone critical positions.
  • Algorithm or AI averse hiring teams can begin with automated recruitment software that streamlines the hiring process and analyses the common patterns revealed in your recruitment metrics. Start by focusing on just one specific area. With qualified candidates in short supply, time to hire is one of the most important metrics your business can measure and allows HR to evaluate the effectiveness of automated recruitment systems.
  • Create a structured interview process supported by online tests during screening to assess cognitive ability, conscientious and leadership.
  • Final decisions on candidate selection should be collaborative and supported by relevant data gathered during the hiring process. The CIPD found that, in organisations that use HR analytics, a quarter of senior leaders are not being given access to HR data to make effective business decisions. Without data, your ability to attract and hire high achievers is restricted.

HR technology should be simple to use, easy to engage with and produce data which informs and drives talent acquisition strategies.

Introducing a ‘kill switch’?

While AI and automation are now unavoidable, justifiable concerns exist over its growing impact on the workplace. In response to these concerns, the European Commission’s Legal Affairs Committee is seeking the creation of a European agency to provide technical, ethnical and regulatory advice on robotics and AI within the EU. Its proposal recommends:

  • A voluntary code of conduct related to AI.
  • A ‘kill switch’ in all AI systems to ensure they can be automatically deactivated in the event of a malfunction.
  • Consideration of a minimum income to compensate people who have been replaced by robots in the workplace.
  • A new status of ‘electronic persons’ for autonomous robots.
  • Reassurance that the use of robots does not engender ‘fear of physical or psychological harm’, while maintaining privacy, human dignity and safety.

HR is a long way from dealing with those issues on a daily basis but employers must begin now to address the impact of AI and automation in the working environment to remain competitive and meet future business goals.


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Don’t Trust Your Gut: 3 Guidelines for Evidence-Based Recruiting

Chess Algorithms

Experience is generally good. Employers love job candidates with impressive track records. But when we on the hiring decision-making side start gaining experience in recruiting, there is a dark side that we need to be aware of if we still want to be effective.

The problem with growing experience in recruiting positions is that you start to gain confidence in your judgement. And that gut feeling about job candidates clouds the decision-making of even the best of us.

The essence of evidence-based recruiting is that you build your recruiting practice on the best available scientific evidence. What is scientific evidence? It is not expert opinions, TED Talks or blog posts. Why not? Because they are opinions without rigorous methodology backing them up. Sure, there is often wisdom in the words of HR influencers, but in order to be effective, basic evidence-based guidelines should be in place.

In the core of evidence-based recruiting should be a hiring algorithm. Algorithm is simply a formula that calculates the score of each of your job candidates. Algorithmic decision-making is simple – you hire the candidate with the highest score. But an algorithm won’t work without variables. It is the recruiter’s responsibility to build the formula – decide what kind of data to gather from the candidates and which factors matter the most. But where to start?

Screening methods – the fairest of them all

I/O psychologists have been studying selection methods with meta-analytic methods for around a 100 years, and there is a clear consensus that General Cognitive Ability (GCA) – also known as General Mental Ability (GMA) or Intelligence Quotient (IQ) – is the most versatile and powerful of the methods commonly in use. Considering how simple-to-use and cheap methods there are available, it is a mystery why these tests are not more widely adopted in practice.

Especially as a screening method, GCA measure is powerful for a couple of reasons. First, for most jobs, the job requirements aren’t set in stone. Especially in startups or companies working in dynamic markets, the contents of employees’ jobs tends to change a lot. GCA is a measure that indicates how well the candidate would be able to learn new things. Second, and related, when the job requirements are complex or new, higher information processing capacity, which is what GCA essentially measures, helps candidates perform better.

Research suggests, that the best predictive validity is achieved when GCA is coupled with other methods that preferably are “MECE” – mutually exclusive and collectively exhaustive. This means that the other methods used should be strong as well, but they should measure different constructs that GCA tests measure. Famous companies such as Google measure GCA together with other variables – namely, “Googleyness” – that they have internally found predictive for future performance. Some evidence-based factors found in I/O psychology are conscientiousness and integrity, and most companies would actually get better results with these methods than with using classic unstructured job interviews as a go-to method. But I bet that…

You are going to interview anyway, so here is how to do it right

One common mistake that many recruiters make is not structuring their job interviews.

How do you expect to compare the candidates if you ask each of them different questions? And how do you expect to hire actual talent if you let human error come in between? If you use the so called “free talk” method (the losing method) to interview candidates, you are bound to simply get along better with some candidates than with others. If the recruiter was changed, the result would most likely be different too, and this is not a good indicator of the reliableness of the interview.

Structuring interviews takes some work, but it’s principles are fairly simple. Essentially, structured interview is an employment interview where

  1. the same questions are asked of each candidate in the same order
  2. free talk is minimised
  3. the evaluation criteria for each question are determined beforehand

The two best types of questions are behavioral and situational. Behavioral questions ask about candidates’ past performance in order to predict how the candidate is likely to perform in the future. Situational questions present hypothetical situations and ask how the candidate would proceed in a given situation.

The outcome of designing the structured interview should be an “interview booklet”. This guide provides a set of predetermined questions (based on variables you have deemed to be necessary for success in the job), room for note-taking and a guide for evaluation. It should be written in a way that anyone even without recruiting experience would be able to run the interview.

If you want to be really professional, have interviewers write down the answers of each candidate, and let someone else evaluate the answers. This obviously takes time, and you need to make the call whether the added value is worth it.

Decision time? Enter Excel

So. You have built your hiring algorithm (hopefully based on GCA and other reliable variables) and collected data to measure those variables using tests and structured interviews. Now it is time to be humble, and let your new best friend Excel make the decision for you.

When you let an algorithm decide for you, you are going to get an improvement of about 50% in predicting work performance. And the interesting fact is that even the most experienced recruiters with years of experience fail more often than algorithms.

Let’s go one step further than that. Even when there is a group of experts, and when they have more data available than your excel table (the algorithmic decision-maker), their decisions are worse. Why is this and what can you do to improve?

A likely reason, as mentioned, is that these bad choices arise from various psychological biases. We as humans are overly influenced by first impressions, personalities and our own values, among other things. Because hiring decisions are essentially prediction problems – ”which candidate would perform the best in the job?” – we should use statistical algorithms which are tools originally built for prediction problems.

This does not mean that experts are unimportant. They are a great source of insight in building the algorithm in the first place. But it does mean that HR professionals need to be humble and understand their limitations. Hiring managers need to be aware and continuously measure the success factors for each job in their company, but they need to restrain themselves when the decision-time comes.

Evidence-based decision-making is the first step towards next-generation recruiting. Most of the algorithmic methods discussed here are going to be adopted to various HR tech applications in the future, but by knowing the basics, you can already start making better decisions while waiting for Big Data and AI to become mainstream in the industry.

Further reading:

Danieli, O., Hillis, A., & Luca, M. (2016). How to Hire with Algorithms. Harvard Business Review, https://hbr.org/2016/10/how-to-hire-with-algorithms

Kuncel, N. R., Klieger, D. M., Connelly, B. S., & Ones, D. S. (2013). Mechanical versus clinical data combination in selection and admissions decisions: A meta-analysis. Journal of Applied Psychology, 98(6), 1060.

Levashina, J., Hartwell, C. J., Morgeson, F. P., & Campion, M. A. (2014). The structured employment interview: Narrative and quantitative review of the research literature. Personnel Psychology, 67(1), 241-293.

Schmidt, F. L., & Hunter, J. E. (1998). The validity and utility of selection methods in personnel psychology: Practical and theoretical implications of 85 years of research findings. Psychological bulletin, 124(2), 262.

Schmidt, F. L. (2002). The role of general cognitive ability and job performance: Why there cannot be a debate. Human performance, 15(1-2), 187-210.

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Behavioral Interviewing is Getting Businesses Top Talent

Behavioral Interviewing : The HR Tech Weekly®

Tell us a few things about yourself.

What are your strengths and weaknesses?

Where do you see yourself in the next 5 years?

Do you still care about this job at all?

See those questions above? Those are traditional interview questions (well, OK, minus one). And if your organization is using them, they’re likely passing on stellar talent because of archaic processes.

So let’s get this right out of the way, here and now:

Traditional interviews usually offer inaccurate reflections of a candidate because of too many close-ended questions.

Sure, they can tell you a little about a candidate, but “[they offer] very little to predict how they will perform if you should choose to hire them.”, according to Balance Point.

If you’re looking into incorporating behavioral interviewing questions (and you really should), then you’ll get the same insight retrieved through traditional means—plus indication into how they’ll perform as an employee.

What’s the Difference Between Traditional and Behavioral Interviewing?

A candidate can say whatever they’d like during an interview. Since we’re all trying to present ourselves in the best light, candidates should be expected to speak positively about themselves. If they don’t, refer them to a counselor—be the hero they need.

Traditional questions give candidates the leeway to say whatever they’d like without demonstrating abilities with professional examples.

Tell us a few things about yourself.

I’m awesome. I’m incredible. And I have accomplished everything. Literally everything.

What are some of your strengths and weaknesses?

Strengths? Well, I’m very motivated and passionate about the projects I work on. I’m punctual and hard-working. Hmm. Weaknesses? Well I guess I care too much. I’m almost, and I hesitate to say this, but I’m almost too hard-working.

If any hiring department is impressed by those answers, they deserve the employee they get.

Behavioral Interviewing Questions

Instead of vague questions that don’t speak to a candidate’s professional experience, behavioral interview questions crack that chestnut and get to the meat of the matter: what he/she has accomplished (or not), how he/she responded, and how those experiences impact their decisions now.

So what are some behavioral interviewing questions?

  • Describe a time when a client/customer was dissatisfied with your work/support.
    • How did the situation conclude?
  • Tell us about a time you led a project, how did it turn out?
    • How did you get your team to realize the project’s vision? How did you pull it all together?
  • Name a time when you and a coworker just couldn’t see eye-to-eye. How was the situation remedied?

Even without knowing about “traditional interview questions”, you can quickly tell that the responses to these will offer a boatload more insight into a candidate than any question posed during a traditional interview.

Seriously, Behavioral Interviewing is So Much Better

How much better?

Well, the Journal of Applied Psychology has done some very extensive research into this. And they found (courtesy of Omniview)…

…drumroll, please…

…that “under a typical hiring scenario [using structured behavioral interviewing questions], 90% of your hires would be successful on the job.”

90-freaking-percent.

Here’s a good rule to live by: if you’re given a 90% success rate regarding anything in this world, take it.

It just makes sense. Behavioral interviewing causes a potential candidate to reflect on their past experiences. It helps you to better understand the roles they’ve had, the details of those roles, any challenges and responses, and how they’ll carry those previous scenarios out in another organization.

Isn’t Behavioral Interviewing More Stressful on Candidates?

As opposed to talking about how great I am throughout the interview? Well, yes. You got me there.

And yeah, openly talking about failures and setbacks during a dream-job interview is rough.

But Glassdoor study findings show that “more difficult job interviews are statistically linked to higher employee satisfaction” and “a 10 percent more difficult job interview process is associated with 2.6 percent higher employee satisfaction later on.”

So go ahead! Ask some tough questions! It might make candidates sweat under pressure now – but they’ll be happy, productive, and successful well into their role.

“So where do you see yourself in 5 years?”

With high turnover rates, going through the same motions that bring you right back to where you once began? Or working with a team of top talent as a result of fresh, engaging interview questions?

The choice is yours.

About the Author:

todd-giannattasio

Todd Giannattasio

CEO & Founder at Tresnic Media

Helping businesses build their brand and acquire customers with strategic content production and promotion.

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