Thursday, January 24, 2013

How to Design an Unpredictable Interview Process to Discover More About Your Candidates

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If you want to be successful in your interviewing process, conduct an interview that is different from the traditional type. When you do this, your candidates will find it harder to predict and prepare. Most candidates, when they really want the job, work out what sort of questions are likely to be asked and practice their answers will stop they prepare an excellent resume and plan how they are going to handle a typical and predictable interview. They will anticipate your questions.

When you conduct a less predictable interview, you are in a better position to accurately evaluate future performance. One of the ways of making the interview process less predictable, is to telephone the candidate to arrange an initial appointment. This will give you an insight to their phone manner from the viewpoint of the customer.

If you ask them to send a handwritten one-page letter that briefly covers their background and their most valued achievements to date. This will give you the opportunity to assess their ability to follow instructions. The outcome will give you something to assess. How quickly did you receive their letter? How tidy and neat was it? Did they send it by mail, fax, hand deliver or e-mail? What was their level of literacy? Were there any spelling mistakes?

During the initial phone call, set up a small project with the candidate. Not only will this make the interview less predictable but will give you another way of evaluating the candidates.
  • A visit to one of your branches to assess customer service.
  • A visit to one of your competitors to assess the pricing.
  • A visit to your website to evaluate how easy it is to navigate.
  • A critique of your marketing plan.
  • An evaluation of a proposed staff policy change.
You may ask for a report or an improvement plan or an evaluation. The timing of the report and its contents will speak volumes about the person.

In a more simple fashion, a work trial for an hour or so will also tell you a lot about a person's competence and how it physically matches or doesn't match the resume.

Practical tests such as operating a machine, word processing, serving customers, welding and so on are absolutely vital for jobs in those categories. The person's performance will tell you more than the words written in the resume or the words spoken during an interview.
PLMitchell is a trainer and coach.

You get the benefit of his 35 years experience.

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