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Are you a qualified Job Interviewer?

23 Jun 2014

Are You a Qualified Job Interviewer?

Recruitment and hiring can be very challenging and time consuming. There are inevitably tons of steps before you can hire someone with the right talent, but the real challenge often lies on: how are you going to make sure that the talent you hire is “right”? What are the methodology you should apply in order to get the answer?

It is found that almost 98% of public and private sector organisations use job interviews to select people and fill job vacancies. Undoubtedly, job interview provides a good two-way communication opportunity between the HR / hiring managers and the candidate, allowing both parties to get to know each other and explore the potential job-candidate fit. While job interview is one of the essential hiring methods which is believed to help employers gather relevant information about the candidates, it is often unclear whether job interview can really demonstrate the value it claims to have.

If you are a frequent job interviewer, take a look of the following questions:

•   Do you usually enjoy a spontaneous interview approach and conduct job interviews without prior preparation (e.g. review candidate’s CV; list out the interview questions, etc.)?
•   Do you believe that you can tell whether someone is qualified for a position by simply asking a few questions in the interview, or even before you ask any question?
•   Do you feel obliged to throw out some questions just to break the silence, even if the questions are not so relevant to the job?
•   Do you find it hard to rate and compare the suitability of different candidates for the same position by referring to the information you gathered in each interview?

If your responses contain more “Yes” than “No”, then you may need to be cautious because your interview style might be preventing you from making an effective and reliable hiring decision.

In fact, many interviewers are found to have reached a decision about a candidate in the first two minutes of an interview – seemingly a subjective judgment rather than an objective one. Even if interviewers make a decision after a thorough interview process rather than relying simply on first impression, can we ever be sure that the interview questions asked reliably assess the candidate’s job suitability and predict future job performance?

Structured Interview - Why?

In many cases, what differentiates a good interview from a bad one is how structured and systematic it is, and whether relevant information which are critical to the hiring position are covered and gathered properly. Research shows that “structured interviews”, which often involve a list of preset questions focusing around the critical requirements of the hiring position, are almost 35% more likely to predict one’s future performance than “unstructured Interviews”. What is worse, it is found that unstructured interviews add almost no incremental value to the quality of hiring decision made comparing with purely screening CV and application form!

Through a structured interview approach, interviewers will be able to use a standardized questioning and evaluating process to measure job-specific competencies in a systematic manner, and go through the same procedure with all candidates of the same position. The benefits of such approach are as the following:

•   Minimize the chance for interviewer bias (e.g. appearance, demographic information, intuition or subjective perception, etc.)
•   Prevent interviewer from covering side issues which have little value in assessing candidate’s job suitability
•   Enable the interviewer to always assess the areas which are most critical to the job, e.g. job-specific skills, highly desirable personal qualities, etc.
•   Ensure consistency, making it easier to appraise candidates and compare their suitability once the interviewing process is complete
•   Help you make better and more predictive hiring assessments and decisions

If you are intrigued about how W Consulting might help organisations get the best out of job interviews, and equip your HR team or groups of hiring managers with effective interviewing skills and techniques, contact us today at +852 2527 9806 or to find out more!