How to Fix the Broken Employment Interview

By Posted in - Interviewing on October 18th, 2012 0 Comments

I have authored a number of blogs and white papers dealing with the employment interview, including The Most Common Interviewer Mistakes, What Do We Really Know About the Employment Interview and What Interviewers Need to Know. In this blog, I want to provide a straightforward solution to the still broken employment interview.

In more than 25 years of working with organizations to improve their talent management, I am continually amazed at how poorly most organizations perform in conducting professional employment interviews. Many organizations insist on relying on a traditional, unstructured interview process.

These types of interviews suffer from multiple problems:

  • Interviewers don’t have a clue what they are interviewing for – there is no roadmap or definition of the competencies required for success.
  • Interviewers make up their own questions and they don’t have a clue about the right questions to ask.
  • Interviewers have no clue on how to evaluate candidate responses or what constitutes a good response.
  • Attractiveness, interpersonal skills and verbal fluency, as well as other individual biases, personal prejudices, and stereotypes, overly influence decisions.
  • Interviewers often look for a reason to reject a candidate rather that examine their positive qualities.
  • Interviewers monopolize the airtime & don’t give candidates time to fully respond or ask questions.

Because of these problems and the inherent lack of structure, traditional interviews have about the same accuracy as flipping a coin. On the other hand, by using a structured behavioral interview in a common selection scenario, you could expect about 90%of your hires to be successful. Decades of research consistently show the same thing: Structure Matters!

Key Elements of Structured Behavioral Interviews

These are some of the key elements of structured behavioral interviews:

  • Organized Around Competencies – This ensures the interview covers all the behaviors that drive success in the position; important qualities are not overlooked.
  • Structured, Pre-Planned Behavioral Questions – This ensures questions are job related and the interviewer is properly prepared. Behavioral questions provide the greatest value in predicting job success; past behavior predicts future behavior.
  • Interviewers Ask Follow-Up Questions to Collect Complete Behavioral Responses – In order to accurately evaluate candidate competencies, the interviewer needs to ensure that candidate responses include a description of Circumstances, Actions taken, and Results obtained; the components can be remembered by the acronym CAR’s.
  • Data is Integrated Across Interviewers – Each interviewer shares their ratings and rational.  The interviewer team considers the full body of data gathered for each competency and arrives at a consensus rating; this helps ensure accuracy and eliminates individual biases.

There is a compelling ROI for behavioral interviewing.  It avoids overlooking quality candidates and reduces unwanted turnover, hiring and training costs, and productivity losses from not having the right individuals in the right seats.  It solves the broken interview problem and drives accuracy, consistency and reduces legal exposure.

If you are interested in learning how OMNIview can assist you in effectively implementing behavioral interviewing, please call us at 877.426.6222. Practical and affordable HR interview management software with efficient interviewer training can quickly convert bad interviewing practices into best practices.

Patrick Hauenstein, Ph.D.

About Patrick Hauenstein, Ph.D.

Patrick Hauenstein is the President and Chief Science Officer for OMNIview. During his free time Pat likes to cook. He is particularly fond of traditional southern cuisine. Pat is also an animal lover ...
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