Every employer wants to hire the best candidate every single time. However, this rarely happens and one key reason is that many hiring managers make a deadly assumption. They assume that if a candidate interviews well, he will be good at the job. However, performing well during the interview has no correlation with on-the-job performance. It is an assumption and a dated belief.
To overcome this assumption and consistently hire the right people, managers need to be able to
- Separate the good interviewer who will ultimately perform well from the good interviewer who will ultimately perform poorly.
- Recognize a poor interviewer who will (as it turns out) perform well.
Interviewers Need to be Better Trained
The only way to do either of these is by gathering the right data during the interview. Interviewers have to be trained to not only extract the right data from the candidate but to correctly decipher that data … not based on the person’s interviewing skills (or personality), but on the data itself. First impressions are not valid. Focusing on skills will not help. Quizzing on timelines is not productive.
Most managers develop their core questions based on questions they were asked back when they were interviewing for jobs (sometimes more than 1-2 decades before). Questions such as …
- Tell me about yourself.
- What do you know about us?
- What do you want to be doing in 5 years?
- What are your strengths?
- What are your weaknesses?
… do not provide any insight regarding a person’s capabilities , their past success, their ability to meet expectations, their character, etc.
They simply highlight the candidate’s storytelling abilities, and whereas everyone loves a good story, this will not help with candidate evaluation. If a great person is hired as a result, this will probably be more a function of luck than anything else.
Suspending first impressions, knowing what questions to ask, taking productive interview notes are vital. Everything comes down to training, which can provide the difference between hiring a top or mediocre performer every single time.
Peeling the Onion
The key to effective interviewing is knowing how to peel back the onion when asking questions. It is not enough to simply ask a question and accept the answer. Interviewers need to build on the answer; ask deeper and deeper questions to get to what really matters. Only then can interviewers evaluate the candidate beyond the “canned answers” to determine if that candidate will be a great hire.
At Snelling, we know that the goal is not to find the candidate with the best interviewing skills…it is to find the best performers. Our people know how to peel the onion; we have been doing it for over 60 years. We can help you hire the best-fit candidate for all your job openings. To discuss this topic or others, please locate your local Snelling office and contact us today.