The Hire Success® Blog

Sharing ideas on best practices to optimize the way companies hire, manage, and structure teams.

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Written by Hire Success
on November 05, 2018

Have you ever discovered that a person you hired to do a job – someone you felt you really “knew” after an extensive resume review and interview process – turned out to be totally different than what you expected?

If so, you’re not alone. 

A recent New York Times article by Jason Dana, entitled “The Utter Uselessness of Job Interviews,” focuses on the problems that employers face when using traditional, unstructured interview methods when hiring. 

As Dana notes, in these meetings, interviewers “typically form strong but unwarranted impressions about interviewees.”

Studies – including research conducted by Dana and his colleagues – confirm this. In one experiment, for example, students were asked to predict the G.P.A. for one semester of two other students based on past experience and course schedule, and then sit down for an interview with just one of the two students.  

The result? Students were better able to predict the G.P.A. of those they didn’t interview.

In fact, the problem of unsuccessful interviews has become widespread in business. In a March 2017 LinkedIn talent blog article, HR expert Dr. John Sullivan states that job interviews have become “ineffective,” and references Google research that found interviews to be a “terrible predictor of performance.”

A big part of the current problem, Sullivan notes, is the growth of the Internet. “Candidates now know exactly what questions to expect,” he says, because hundreds of websites provide the most common interview questions, along with recommendations for answers. 

In other words, it’s the "job" of every applicant to say the "correct" things during an interview, and if your questions are the same ones they've heard during their last 10 interviews – or the ones they found online and prepared for – they may be better prepared than you are.

 

What can you do?

So, if you’re hiring, what does this mean? You can’t just give up interviews altogether, can you?

No – but you can improve your interviews and your success rate by adding pre-employment testing during hiring. 

Testing can provide you with personality trait information and assessments of skills, which will help you prepare better, more focused and customized questions for the interview process.

In fact, in his list of 10 “alternatives” to traditional interviews, Sullivan recommends shifting to a data-driven interview process as #1.

He states, “I estimate that if you’re not using a data-driven approach to interviewing and assessment, you will increase your percentage of weak hires by up to 20%.”

Among other recommendations, he suggests giving interviewees a job-related task to complete to see how they do, as well as providing candidates specific information about the interview process in advance.

Sullivan also emphasizes the importance of what we call creating baselines, or “comparing what top-performing hires have in common (and weak performers don’t have),” including which specific interview questions accurately predict future on-the-job performance.

But creating baselines and coming up with specific, effective questions for every job candidate is time-consuming. That’s why a system like Hire Success® does the work for you by gathering critical information during testing, analyzing data and then generating unique interview questions for each applicant, based on that person’s answers to the test.

With a system like Hire Success®, you’ll have an affordable, convenient and simple method for conducting and documenting more meaningful, efficient interviews – and understanding traits and capabilities before you do – reducing the possibility of bad hires.

Want to talk about improving your interviews? Contact us to schedule a free, no-obligation 30-minute consultation with one of our hiring experts.

 

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