Interview Process – Hard for Candidates to Be Real

interview processThe interview process is fraught with potential trouble. One issue is it hard to be fully honest in an interview. We all want to show the shiny side of the apple in the interview.

At SHI Group we used to do a personality assessment for all candidates. We emphasized that it is not pass/fail but can help us know the candidate better.

Statistically, half of the people are black and white in seeing the world.  Half are probing and see data rather than right or wrong. Both types of people are valuable in business.  As software takes over the routine work in this world, the probing personalities are becoming more valuable.

Interview Process – Getting Good Data Not Simple

However, out of a hundred candidates we get less than 10% showing they are probing. To go further, people have trouble admitting they are introverted, emotionally driven or even intuitive as well.

If you are familiar with MBTI or Keirsey, you may recognize ESTJ as extroverted, sensing, thinking judging. In the world, about 10% of the people have this personality. They are dependable people who team and follow rules.

Notably, most of the people we assess test out as this personality.  Seems the candidates see this as the ideal no matter what position they are aiming for. They most often do not purposely fake their results. The opposite personality is INFP, and we almost never get anyone to test anything similar to this as you can imagine.  These people are in their own world, daydream, are very emotional,  and  do not absorb rules well. No one wants to admit they are like this in an interview or on an assessment.  This problem really illustrates how most candidates are acting and not being real whether they realize it or not.  This means the interview often does not match the work and attitude of the new hire. We need to do better and get them to calm down.

I employ INFP’s and people like them. Their creativity, curiosity, relational sensitivity, and desire to listen are welcome.  They are super valuable in finding, drawing in and understanding super valuable passive candidates on the phone. We could never find them if we just did ‘1,2,3 quit” type searches. We must reach out of the box.

More Thoughts on Interview

Back to getting honesty and getting good data in interviewing.  It takes effort, but you will hire better if you do not just want people who love rules. You need all your people to love transparency and be teachable. This is different than rule lovers.

You also will hire better if you understand the pressure candidates are under. You need to find ways to get them to relax. Otherwise you cannot get to the real person. The real person is the one who will work for you, and not the interview faker.

By making them more safe, you can look beneath the exterior that they feel compelled to put forward. Great candidates can assess as themselves and not force us to guess when we create safety. Some people will still act even if you do give them safety.  Avoid such people.  Great recruiters can see who each candidate is and care despite candidate tendency to put on a show. Finally, great recruiters get beyond the interview in a background check that gets real data. That is what we always do at SHI Group. See also Use Data to Hire Smarter.


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Posted in: China Recruitment - Getting Good People

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