Improving the Interview Process

Many employers and employees are both finding the traditional form of job-interview outdated, especially in the modern landscape of zoom meetings and remote work arrangements. This may be the case for classic interview formats, but there are ways to reformat the interview process so that both employees and firms can find the best fit for one another.

Some firms have found success with a more structured interview process, leaving less up to the specific interviewer. This can be especially helpful at larger entities where multiple managers might be interviewing various candidates between departments. This helps to normalize interview styles depending on the role each potential employee is looking for.

This can make interview results more comparable across managerial styles and candidate results, ensuring that everyone within a department is using roughly the same interview rubric for a given position.

This approach is especially useful for more specialized or security-sensitive positions where applicants might have to send to rounds of interviews only to answer the same series of questions at each turn.

Modern HR data suggests that a shared rubric amongst each round of interviewers can make sure that with each interview the questions become more field-related or complicated as potential employees progress further along within any screening process.

This increased communication within a department might even cut the need for some interviews, thus saving a firm valuable time and labor capital.

Forward-thinking companies report the benefits of not only improving the macro-scale of the interview process but also fine-tuning things on a micro-level. Outside of very technical fields, focusing on generalized topics and work styles can prove more beneficial than stressing specific questions and data points.

Companies should focus on finding the person who thinks in a manner aligning with the requirements and responsibilities of a given position as opposed to memorizing and regurgitating a set of minute facts. Modern educational research shows that it is far easier to teach one basic information than it is to sculpt modalities of thought.

Learning how a potential employee manages inter-office conflict or works to manage multiple deadlines at once is far more telling of an individual’s long-term cultural fit than how quickly he or she can calculate how long it would take a train to travel from Chicago to Detroit.

This is not to downplay the importance of technical knowledge, as this will depend largely on the position, but employers should be aware that it is not always the most important aspect, especially when soft skills such as interpersonal negotiation or persuasive speaking are involved.

Finally, the interview process should always consider the firm’s ability to improve upon a candidate’s existing skills. A candidate might score very well on certain innate skills such as critical thinking or people skills, but he or she might not perform very well in other areas. If an employer trusts in its ability to train certain aspects of an employee, it might be worthwhile to work on an individual who is a great cultural fit otherwise.

The modern interview process is not perfect, but it can be refined for the modern workplace. Employers need to re-evaluate the needs of a given department and adjust from there. Hiring managers need to share a core rubric for a given position to reduce redundancies in the screening process, technical vs conceptual skills need to be weighted to account for each position, and firms need to consider how capable they are in training personnel up for a given position.

While this process might be time-consuming at first, it can pay long-term dividends in a business’s training and operational expenses for years to come. For further consultation on small to medium-sized business operations, is devoted to making your hiring process as efficient as possible.

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