Have Goal for Interviewing?
Let’s think together about a good goal for interviewing. How about:
1.”To know what candidates have done in their career as best predictor of what they will do.”
2.Or would you rather “Find the one who can give me the right impression.”
3.Or “Get the candidate to tell me the truth.”
4. Or “Find out if the candidate talks well and has the needed technology or experience.”
5.Or “Get answers to what they would do in certain scenarios to know if they are a fit.”
What is a Good Goal for Interviewing?
Let’s start with Number 5 Get answers to what they would do in certain scenarios to know if they are a fit
Anyone can make up a story to tell what is the correct thing to do. It is infinitely harder to actual do the right thing under pressure. So having people tell you what they would do will encourage the candidate to tell a story to match what you want to hear which will not help you. You cannot tell if they are a fit by how good a storyteller they are, so this goal cannot be reached. In some executive placements, candidates must do a PowerPoint to show their vision for the company if they are CEO. That is different and should only be used as part of the assessment even for those CEO level placements.
Number 4 Find out if the candidate talks well and has the needed technology or experience
Some candidates really cannot talk well and you need that and they should get eliminated. Are all people who talk well and have experience good hires? Is it even close to half? That is setting the bar too low.
Number 3 Get the Candidate to tell me the truth
This is a good goal, but hardly reachable. We have found that it helps to create safety for the candidate. Candidates are naturally nervous when they interview, so hard to get real answers. Even under the best interviewing where people feel super comfortable, most candidates will still not tell the truth in uncomfortable questions. So at minimum, with our best efforts, we cannot get most candidates to tell the truth.
Number 2 Find the one who can give me the right impression
We have found some of the most troublesome hires are the very best at creating the “right impression”. So feels good is nice. Feels wrong is bad. We need to use those feelings as a clue to investigate. Those feelings should not be the final word in almost all cases. So number 2 is a signal but not a goal that will bring success to the company.
Number 1 To know what candidates have done in their career as best predictor of what they will do
This is scientifically the best indicator of what a candidate will do when they work for you. See also Best Predictor. What the candidate actual did rather than planned to do is predictive and also is often check-able. This goal faces the challenge of not being able to get the right data. Candidates often cannot tell the truth under pressure as mentioned before. This goal drives us to reach beyond the interview. We must find out what the candidate really did to have predictive strength. Further, we need to find if this person can be honest in their work or just good politicians.
Number 1 is overwhelmingly the best choice. Interviews should focus on who, what, why, where, and how, and then a search for real data should follow.
This is our specialty and our promise in what we will do. We recommend our customers have the same goal.