The rarest ability is the ability to recognize ability It is never easy to gauge a candidate’s ability through an interview of a couple of hours.
Unfortunately, even though interviews do not really reveal everything about a candidate, they are still used universally to gauge ability as nothing better has been discovered yet. Therefore, it is fairly certain that interviews will continue to be relied upon for decades.
In spite of an increasing number of sophisticated psychometric tools, these are not the answer as their results are dependent on the respondent answering questions truthfully. This does not happen as candidate’s are smart and give appropriate non-contradictory responses. With mis-hiring increasing and now accounting for over 50% in the top 100 organizations of the world, the stakes are high for improving interviewing techniques, especially as mis-hiring costs an organization more than 26 times a candidate’s package.
Here are some Do’s and Don’ts for interviews…
Meet candidates more than once: It is critical for an interviewer to understand a candidate’s DNA and what s/he is like as a human being, as the softer side is important too. Therefore, it is prudent to meet the candidate more than once. In the first interaction, understand the candidate’s DNA, and in the second interaction focus on the competencies. For a CEO position, in fact have three interactions – it will help in the third interaction if you focus on what the plan of action the candidate has if you hire him/her.
Ask for examples: Candidates love to talk about their past in glowing terms and their endeavor would be to present themselves in the best light. Therefore, expect exaggeration as well as the candidate stating what the interviewer wants to hear. Therefore, it is important that an interviewer strives to ascertain the truth. To get to the truth, it will help if we focus on the following:
a. How the results were achieved?
b. What is the strategy?
c. How were the road-blocks overcome?
d. What was the candidate’s individual contribution?
Then, we should ask the candidate to give examples on which we can probe deeper.
Focus on gauging key drivers of a candidate: Actions of every human being are governed consciously and sub-consciously by what are the key drivers of an individual. Understanding these will reveal a lot about the candidate, which often helps us gauge what actions the candidate is likely to take at a job, including helping us understand his behavior at work and whether the candidate will be a team player.
Understand what candidate is not good at: More than strengths, it is really important to understand what a candidate is not good at. Also, discerning weaknesses is not easy as candidates will try to hide them. However, as every candidate is likely to be not good at a minimum of haf a dozen things, it is important to know some of them as forewarned is forearmed. Also, it will help you provide a support system to help the candidate succeed. We must realise that eery human being has more than nine weaknesses. So, however great the candidate is, understanding that everyone will have his/her share of idiosyncrasies is important. Therefore, it will help to focus on this, as it will give us a far sharper perspective about the candidate. While on this, do probe the failures of the candidate and do understand the learnings from them.
– The writer is managing director; Executive Access (India). Views are personal
In spite of an increasing number of sophisticated psychometric tools, these are not the answer as their results are dependent on the respondent answering questions truthfully
Source: Times of India, Wednesday, November 14, 2018 | Mysuru (Page – 9)