Is the ‘traditional interview’ setting your business up to fail?

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Thursday, February 10, 2022

The cost of hiring for your business can quickly add up if you keep employing the wrong people for your team. With the candidate market extremely fraught at the moment and competition between companies for talent high, you need to make sure when you take on an employee, they are the right people for your business. The ‘traditional’ sit down interview is a process that was invented in 1921. Businesses have continued to evolve during that time, yet to hire new talent we are still using a process invented over a century ago! As it’s more important than ever to make sure you’re hiring the right people, read on to find out about other interview styles that might serve you better.

What is the problem with the traditional interview?

Quite simply, generic questions equal generic answers! It is possible to predict the answers that will be asked in an interview, and therefore interviewees can prepare their answers. Whilst it does show preparation, scripted answers do not mean you will end up hiring the most qualified person for the role.

Amanda Augustine believes there is an 80/20 rule when it comes to interviews. “If a candidate makes it past the initial screening process and is brought in to meet with the team, it’s typical that only 20% of the face-to-face interview is spent confirming the candidate has the right skill set to do the job,” she says. The remaining 80% is spent determining whether the candidate will be a good cultural fit for the team and organization.” Even if the applicant has the most amazing skill set, if they wont fit into the team, it doesn’t make sense to hire them.

What are the alternatives?

Many people are now employing behavioural questions instead of using the more traditional methods. These questions include examples such as, “tell me about a time you faced a difficult situation”, and “describe a time you had to learn quickly and how you handled that”. They look at a candidates character and past actions in a range of situations. Behavioural questions demand real life examples to be given by interviewees, and prevent them from providing rehearsed, routine answers to predictable questions. The idea behind behavioural questions is that if a candidate behaves a certain way in the past, they are more likely to repeat that behaviour in the future, and from their answers the interviewer can gauge whether they would like them to work for their company.

Many employers are now using “job auditions” as a method to interview potential employees. The idea is to observe candidates in high pressure situations that imitate a companies real work environment, to give employers a clearer idea of how they would perform if they were to be hired. It is also an effective way to reduce bias, as interviewers measure performance, rather than answers to traditional interview questions.

By exploring these other avenues when interviewing, you will be able to potentially reduce staff turn over, by building a team that works well together. If you are looking to recruit for your team, get in touch with Plus One today or give us a call on 01295 262266.