Developing Your Talent

Competency and Fit Begin With the Interview

By Greg Simpson on November 12, 2012

For most, conducting an interview is never easy.  But there is a lot at stake. The success of an organization’s talent acquisition strategy rests on the ability of hiring managers to conduct effective interviews and make sound hiring decisions.

Preparation is key.  Are you relying on a stock list of interview questions and your “gut” feeling about a candidate?   If so, this may lead to a decision that isn’t supported by objective data.   To avoid hiring disasters,  consider what questions will effectively reveal whether a candidate has the right aptitude.  Be sure to ask questions that are directly related to the skills and experience required for the job.  Ask questions that will assess attitude and past behaviors to determine if there is alignment with your company’s culture.   Effective interviews tie the competencies required for success on a specific job with cultural fit.

In her recent Fortune Magazine article “25 toughest companies for job interviewees,” author Anne Fisher reports on a survey of interview ratings by job hunters. The survey resulted in a list of the 25 companies with the toughest interviewing process. While the list of companies and some of the sample questions are enlightening, even more revealing is the finding that, “Most veterans of tough interviews at these 25 companies rated the experience a positive one. More striking still, the companies with the highest difficulty ratings also score highest in employee satisfaction.”

What would account for the high employee satisfaction? According to Rusty Rueff, Glassdoor’s resident career expert, “A company that has stringent standards for performance will really put you through your paces [in interviews] because that is an honest and true reflection of their culture.” A demanding job should require a demanding screening process, just as a stress-fueled position requires an interview that injects a healthy dose of stress via time constraints or unexpected questions that demand candidates think on their feet.

If your employee satisfaction ratings are suffering, re-visit your interviewing process. The new employees you bring on board should be a good fit not just for the demands of the position, but also for your company’s culture. Consider how you could structure your interview so that it mirrors a “day in the life” of an employee with your company.



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