Hiring The Best Interviewing Strategies That Work

Hiring The Best Interviewing Strategies That Work



Hiring the​ Best - Interviewing Strategies that WORK!
In today’s competitive environment, hiring has increasingly become a​ key link in​ establishing and​ maintaining your company’s edge .​
By attracting and​ hiring the​ best people, your company can move quickly and​ grow steadily .​
On the​ flip side, however, poor hires cost you precious time, money, and​ opportunity .​
Poor hiring could cost you your company.
Unfortunately, hiring candidates who can do what they say they can do is​ getting tougher .​
a​ whole industry has sprung up in​ the​ past ten years helping job seekers land a​ job — sometimes at​ all costs .​
You can’t afford to​ hire someone who can’t do the​ job, do it​ with minimal direction, or​ do it​ quickly .​
Fortunately, there are techniques that you can use to​ ensure that the​ candidate you select can do the​ job .​
We will examine four techniques here — demonstrations, simulations, problem solving, and​ testing — and​ introduce a​ powerful interviewing technique — High Performance Interviewing — that we will cover in​ more detail in​ the​ next issue of​ Performance News.
Demonstrations
Ideally, the​ best way to​ see if​ a​ candidate is​ able to​ do the​ job is​ to​ have them actually do the​ job .​
To have them, in​ other words, demonstrate their ability to​ do the​ work .​
Sales representatives can sell something; software engineers can code something; machine operators can operate a​ machine; secretaries can answer phones or​ type a​ memo; etc.
Simulation
Sometimes demonstrations are not possible or​ appropriate .​
the​ next best thing to​ a​ demonstration is​ a​ simulation .​
a​ simulation is​ like a​ demonstration except that the​ situation is​ not real .​
In sales or​ customer service, for​ example, you can role play an​ angry customer and​ have the​ candidate respond to​ your anger .​
Another example of​ a​ simulation is​ having a​ telesales representative call you (the customer) to​ sell you something .​
Or, if​ you’re interviewing for​ a​ training position, you could have the​ candidate teach you something.
Problem Solving
Sometimes demonstrations and​ simulations are not feasible .​
Then problem solving might provide you with confidence in​ the​ person’s ability .​
Problem solving is​ a​ technique many interviewers use to​ see how adept the​ candidate is​ in​ addressing real or​ hypothetical problems and​ challenges .​
It is​ one step removed from simulation because in​ problem solving the​ candidate describes what s/he would do rather than simulating what s/he would do .​
a​ cautionary note: problem solving by itself may only indicate what a​ person SAYS s/he will do in​ a​ given situation, not how they actually will or​ did behave .​
Still, problem solving is​ a​ good way to​ check a​ critical skill.
Test
Tests are also sometimes helpful as​ part of​ the​ hiring process .​
Psychological tests provide a​ way for​ some companies to​ identify key characteristics in​ an​ individual .​
Other ways of​ testing include asking specific knowledge questions such as​ What commands might you use to​ initiate a​ subroutine? or​ What are the​ advantages and​ disadvantages of​ common network protocols?
Interview
However, sometimes demonstrations, simulations, problem solving, or​ testing might not be feasible; at​ the​ very least they -- by themselves -- are inadequate .​
Interviewing is​ required .​
Effective interviewing requires that you have sharp probing and​ listening skills to​ get the​ candidate to​ describe or​ explain relevant experiences from which you can draw highly predictive information .​
We call this type of​ interviewing High Performance Interviewing.
Can we maximize the​ traditional method of​ hiring candidates — the​ interview — to​ hire more effectively? the​ answer is, YES!
Many interviews result in​ a​ mutual exchange of​ meaningless information and​ a​ gut feeling .​
the​ process we call High Performance Interviewing (HPI) helps you gather meaningful, predictive information and​ substantiates your gut feeling.
HPI is​ based on the​ premise that past behavior is​ the​ best predictor of​ future behavior .​
HPI is​ designed to​ extract highly predictive, accurate target data from candidates .​
Target data is:
• Behavioral: the​ data must be about what the​ candidate did, said, thought, or​ felt .​
We do not consider what the​ person was responsible for​ as​ target data since it​ doesn’t tell what the​ person actually did .​
the​ data must be about the​ candidate .​
We do not consider we data target data since we don’t know what the​ candidate did.
• Volunteered by the​ candidate: Target data comes from the​ candidate’s memory, not the​ interviewer’s suggestions or​ prompting.
• About a​ specific past situation: Focused on what actually happened, not on what might have happened, or​ what generally happens .​
Having the​ candidate state what they would do in​ specific scenarios may point out problem solving and​ quick thinking but may not predict what the​ person actually has done in​ similar situations .​
Only data based on past situations is​ considered target data.
Step 1: General Opening Statement or​ Question
Begin gathering target data with general opening questions or​ statements .​
The purpose of​ this step is​ to​ get the​ candidate to​ talk about what we want them to​ talk about .​
Here are examples of​ general openings .​
(The phrases in​ parentheses are examples of​ specific skills I​ might be looking for​ in​ a​ candidate.):
• I’m looking for​ (examples of​ when you managed multiple priorities).
• I’d like to​ hear more about (your experiences in​ delegating).
• I’d like to​ find out how (you respond to​ autonomy and​ little direction).
• Can you think of​ a​ time when (you had a​ difficult deadline to​ meet)?
• Do you recall an​ instance where (you were aware that another member of​ the​ team was not pulling his or​ her own weight)?
• is​ there an​ example of​ (a challenge you faced in​ coding a​ new module)?
Step 2: Get Deeper
The next step in​ gathering target data is​ to​ get deeper in​ those areas important to​ the​ job .​
Questions that help you get deeper include:
• How did it​ start?
• What were the​ key points in​ the​ situation?
• What were the​ results?
• What happened first/then/next?
• What did you do/say/feel/think?
• How did you prepare/follow-up?
• What do you believe was the​ most important event/decision/activity during that time?
Here are several guidelines for​ getting deeper:
• Ask what the​ candidate did, said, felt, thought.
• Separate the​ candidate’s actions from others’ actions.
• Ask who, what, when, where, and​ how.
What is​ your role throughout this questioning? Take notes to​ help you guide the​ conversation .​
Listen .​
Ask for​ clarity when necessary .​
Remember, we cannot assess a​ candidate’s qualifications if​ WE do all the​ talking!
What You Don’t Do
It is​ important that you as​ interviewer don’t:
• Ask leading questions: Leading questions give you exactly what you want to​ hear .​
and​ they typically result in​ inaccurate data.
• Accept generalizations: Generalizations don’t tell you what the​ candidate did .​
Target data must be specific.
• Accept collectivisms: Collectivisms are the​ use of​ we, the​ group, my team, etc .​
They don’t tell us what this individual -- the​ candidate -- did .​
Again, target data must be specific.
• Assess the​ candidate before hearing all: Prejudging a​ candidate before the​ data is​ heard is​ a​ serious mistake .​
the​ brain can easily find data to​ support its prejudgment .​
Therefore, stick to​ the​ script; write down what you hear as​ the​ interviewer .​
the​ time for​ assessment comes later.
How To Get Back On Track
Because HPI is​ a​ dialogue, it​ is​ sometimes easy for​ the​ candidate to​ digress .​
It is​ your responsibility as​ interviewer to​ pull the​ candidate’s discussion into more relevant and​ appropriate direction .​
Here are some pithy phrases that will rein in​ or​ focus the​ digresser:
• if​ I​ was there, what would I​ see?
• You said there were meetings .​
Could you tell me about one?
• Can you give me the​ details?
• Let’s backtrack a​ bit.
• Who do you mean by ‘we’?
When you’ve gathered an​ appropriate amount of​ data for​ a​ particular skill, repeat the​ HPI technique until you are satisfied with the​ results .​
Then close the​ interview.
Terence R .​
Traut is​ the​ president of​ Entelechy, Inc., a​ company that helps organizations unlock the​ potential of​ their people through customized training programs in​ the​ areas of​ sales, management, customer service, and​ training .​
Terence can be reached at​ 603-424-1237 or​ ttraut@unlockit.com .​
Check out Entelechy's website at​ www.unlockit.com.




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