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Are your interviewers
failing the interview?

Targeted Selection:
Best Practices for new hires

Title: Are Your Interviewers Failing the Interview?

by Rahul Shah

More than $110 billion is spent annually on talent acquisition in the United States alone. With about $3,000 being spent per each new hire, the interview can be the most expensive conversation a manager will have.

Unfortunately, 58% of interviewers report either not having any formal interview training or relying solely on their instincts to make hiring decisions. Almost all interviewers say interviewing is an art that is improved by practice.

This is incorrect. There is an art behind interviewing, but there is also science. DDI’s Targeted Selection℠ is a behavior-based interviewing system designed to help interviewers get the information they need to make an educated decision on a new hire.

Interviewers often fall into the trap of playing amateur psychiatrist, asking questions such as “If you could be any animal, what would you be?” and, “What song best describes your work ethic?” While questions like these may be useful in seeing how a candidate reacts to being put on the spot, it won’t actually give you any information on whether she will be successful on the job.

So, what does this mean? You need to be asking questions in order to get specific examples or situations that the candidate has actually experienced. Hypothetical questions aren’t helpful in determining whether the person will be able to perform the job well.

Another type of question to avoid is the knowledge-based question. It’s good to know that the candidate has knowledge of processes they’ll be using in day-to-day work, but it’s more important to know if they know how to apply that knowledge.

For example, consider the question, “Can you explain the difference between a hot backup and a cold backup and the benefits associated with each?” This will tell you what the candidate knows, but it certainly won’t tell you what the candidate will do.

Instead, interviewers should ask questions that give insight into how the candidate applies his or her knowledge. To assess a person’s soft skills such as ability to work in a team, communication skills, and problem solving ability, questions such as, “Describe the most complex problem you were asked to solve at work recently. What alternatives did you consider?” would be more helpful.

This is what Targeted Selection® behavioral interviewing does for the interviewer. It comes to the rescue and helps interviewers get better data from candidates so that they can make the best selection choice for their team and for their organization. Other examples would be:

  • Tell me about a time when you were particularly satisfied with your work situation. Why was it so gratifying?
  • Tell me about a time when you were particularly dissatisfied with an assignment. What made it so unpleasant?
  • Looking across all of your work experience, when were you the happiest? Why?

Research suggests that 46 percent of new hires will fail in the first 18 months. Therefore, the importance of choosing the right candidate for the job cannot be underestimated. Targeted Selection helps interviewers learn how to analyze and judge interview data in a structured, scientific way, while also using knowledge of past experiences to make the correct choice for a new employee.

Click here to learn more about how Targeted Selection® can help your team make better hiring choices.

Rahul Shah leads the Leadership & Development solution delivery at DDI India. He has over 17 years of experience in training, consulting, recruitment, and sales, and is known for the passion and energy that he brings to the floor when delivering workshops. Read more about and connect with Rahul here.

Talk to an Expert: Are Your Interviewers Failing the Interview?
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