Changing the Way We Interview: New Techniques to Improve the Hiring Process

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The job interview might be the only moment both recruiters and hiring managers get a glimpse of the person behind the résumé. A candidate can be many things in writing, but the hiring process really boils down to the interview. However, traditional job interviews are slowly becoming a thing of the past, being that they can be awkward, too formal, too short to really get to know the person, and very biased.

With more and more companies trying to think out of box regarding job interviews, we've put together a small guide of creative ideas to not only get to really know potential employees, but to also broaden your candidate pool.

Shake It Up

Some employers are already starting to mix it up when it comes to job interviews. There’s even a new trend that consists on working out with candidates. Yes, you read that right. Some hiring managers are taking their work to the gym. Mix in a round of squats with professional aspirations and you’ve got the perfect match! Stepping out of the office and going to the gym will give you a better, more natural—and less uptight—scenario to get to know your candidates. Nothing like a good, old workout session to get to know the real person behind the CV.

Breaking a sweat is just an example of hiring managers thinks outside the box. Other ideas include going for a cup of coffee after the interview to give candidates time to relax and be themselves; introducing them to a couple of people around the office to see how they interact with potential coworkers; video interviews; there are even platforms that allow you to carry out the whole interview process via text messages, something the current generation prefers rather than talking on the phone or meeting face-to-face.

Assessing Soft Skills

Ever hired a candidate that looked great on paper, but that turned out to be unable to properly work in teams? Hard skills alone won’t ever be enough for any role—and they can easily be backed up—so taking soft skills into account will definitely allow hiring professionals to find the perfect match for any position. According to a recent study, old school job interviews’ biggest weakness is assessing soft skills. But how can you measure something that can really only be evaluated in the long run? There are now special tools available on the web that could easily help you measure a candidate’s soft skills using surveys and mini-games. Putting applicants through this type of tests can also help you narrow down your candidate pool to the real top talent that you need for that position.
You can also learn a lot from a candidate’s social media. Is the person keeping up with their industry? Are they sharing related content? Are they keeping up-to-date on the latest trends? Are they learning new skills? If you can find a candidate that is passionate enough about their work that they share related updates on their social media, you have definitely found a good one.

Eliminating Bias

Bias might be one of the worst consequences of job interviews. You are probably being bias with most of your candidates without even realizing it because we tend to prefer people who are similar to us, both physically and personality wise. This very common phenomenon is known as “affinity bias”, you just feel more connected to candidates that you consider your equals. Fear not, the industry has come up with a simple solution: the interview panel. By representing more than one race, gender, age group, and body type in your group of panelists, you will be able to neutralize affinity bias.

This type of interviewing method will not only allow you to choose the best talent, but it’ll also make candidates feel more comfortable, allowing them to strike conversations with any member of the panel instead of being harassed and pressured with a million questions. However, be careful not to make candidates feel they’re being judged as if they were on a televised talent show. Make sure it’s an open discussion and the candidate feels comfortable surrounded by that many people.

Asking the Right Questions

If you really want to know if the candidate is right for the role, ask questions that can actually test their skills. Candidates need to be faced with a potential scenario where they can come up with a solution, giving them all the context they need to be able to achieve a positive result. Make up hypothetical scenarios that could potentially happen if they get the job. You can even ask their perspective on a mistake the company could have made in the past to see if they can be completely honest and if they would have handled the situation differently.

Interview questions should always revolve around skills and experience and thinking out of the box in this regard is also a great initiative. However, make sure to ask the questions which answers will actually matter to you and the company.

Vanessa Fardi
Digital Copy Editor