Posted by Aoife Gorey on Tue, Apr 02, 2013
You just interviewed a potential job candidate. You liked her. Her resume was impressive and her experience seemed to check out. But your still not 100% sure if she is the right fit for your specific open position. Do you hire her? For many employers, the job interview will answer that question. Through the traditional job interview, we can tell whether potential employees are well-spoken, energetic, and knowledgeable. We can tell whether they are bluffing on their resumes, and we can get a feel on how well they will fit the company culture.
The job interview cannot tell us everything. However we have a tendency to hold it up as the only time to discover everything we need to know about a job candidate, but it is not. Don’t get us wrong, we are not saying to STOP conducting job interviews (goodness no!), we are simply saying that you shouldn’t RELY solely on it when hiring.
Job seekers also realize the importance of the job interview. You can be certain they are the best versions of themselves when they are in an interview, a version you may not get from them at work every day. With so many new hiring techniques and trends in Human Resources today, why on earth would you stick with only the typical and traditional job interview?
Here are three common misconceptions employers make about job interviews:
1) What you see is what you get! Unfortunately for most candidates, this is simply not true. Like we said earlier, candidates are the very best versions of themselves when they are on a job interview. They have practiced how to alter their behavior to fit what they believe you are looking for. While the effort is admirable, no one can act like this on a daily basis. It is up to you to be able to decipher who the candidate really is behind the smoke and mirrors. People also get nervous! I would be lying if I said I wasn’t nervous every single time I interviewed for a job. One of my very first interviews, I mumbled “Nice be to you,” instead of “nice to meet you” and spilled some water on the table. We are humans, after all. Thankfully, this past employer smiled, brushed it off for nerves, and we began discussing my capabilities and experience, (and yes, I eventually got the job!)
2) They sound like they know what they’re talking about, so they MUST be able to do it! Two words can be used to counter this misconception: the Internet. You can be almost certain that before the interview, the candidate has combed through articles experts have written about the skill set necessary for the job. But the ability to talk about the job does not always translate into the ability to actually do the job. Last year, a marketing friend of mine was able to "blab" on for an hour-long interview about her experience with HTML and coding. She didn’t take a single skill test or have to show examples of her work before she was offered the job. She ultimately turned it down. Lesson? Don’t believe everything you hear.
3) I have been doing interviews for a long time, so I am an expert at judging someone! We are sure you are! Confidence in your interviewing abilities is great, but even if you have conducted 100,000 interviews, each is still different because each time you are interviewing a different person. Each candidate requires different interviewing skills to get an answer to the question, “can this person do the job and do it well?” You set yourself up for failure when you over estimate your interviewing abilities. At the end of the day, an interviewer cannot measure all aspects of a person. Behavior, attitude, morale, thinking style, and interests all contribute to the success of job fit.
Combining skills tests, pre-hire assessments, and traditional interviews may take a little more time, but you will have a significantly higher chance of finding the perfect person for your job. In addition to a simple skills report, many assessment tools offer insight for hiring managers in preparing for interviews. Check out the ProfileXT® that includes an interview guide in its report.