Hiring the right people is everything — building a strong, engaged team that will make the most of their time at your company is the key to your business's success, and that's only possible if you fill your office with smart, motivated, creative thinkers. Is your interview process helping you find the best of the best, or are you accidentally driving away great talent?
Read on as we explore some of the worst interviewing techniques out there and look at what to do instead to help you find the perfect employees for your company.
For those seeking jobs in Silicon Valley and in fields like consulting, brainteaser questions were once the norm. But some of the titans in these fields are now eschewing those types of questions, as Laszlo Bock, senior vice president of People Operations at Google, discussed in the New York Times. Over the years, they've found that brainteasers don't really predict anything about the type of employee someone will be, nor are they indicative of someone's intelligence.
Bock argues that behavioral interviewing is the most successful approach because it provides you insight into how the candidate has actually reacted in previous work challenges and gives you a sense of what the candidate considers to be a difficult obstacle at work.
Leaving Interviewers to Their Own Devices
Interviewing is a skill, and for those who don't work in HR, being asked to evaluate a candidate can be a source of anxiety. Leaving interviewers to create their own rules can cause a number of issues. Your company might end up with a less-than-ideal new employee because the interviewer didn't ask the right questions or have the know-how to properly evaluate the candidates they met with. Additionally, if your interviewer asks strange or inappropriate questions, it may scare off strong candidates (or, in the worst case scenario, be downright illegal).
Instead of letting interviewers do their own thing, provide them with a standard set of questions and a clear rubric for evaluating candidates. That way, you know every interviewer is on the same page and every candidate is being assessed on the same scale.
Not Being Respectful of Candidate's Time
As a company looking to hire someone, it can be easy to take your candidate's time for granted. You may take a long time to respond to a submitted application or keep the candidate waiting in the lobby for 45 minutes before their interview — or eat up half of their day by having them meet with seven of your colleagues (three of whom they won't even work with if they're hired) during the first round of interviews.
Not only is it rude to take advantage of a candidate's goodwill and desire to impress you, but if you take it too far you can leave a bad taste in a good candidate's mouth. A strong candidate will have other offers coming in, and if you give them the runaround before they even start working with you, they might come to the conclusion that you're a disorganized company that would be miserable to work for.
Following the "golden rule" can be helpful here: Treat your candidates the way you'd like to be treated if you were in their shoes.
Focusing Too Heavily on Education or GPA
It's tempting as an interviewer to assume that the most well-educated candidate will make the best employee. But focusing too heavily on someone's education and GPA shouldn't come at the expense of evaluating their emotional intelligence, which research has shown is actually a more important factor to consider when hiring.
A study conducted at Virginia Commonwealth University found that those who exhibit self-awareness and social awareness are more likely to be better employees than those who do not. This means that while you can take education and GPA into account as a way of assessing work ethic and book smarts, you should not do so to the exclusion of all else. Be sure to work questions into the interview process that will help you to evaluate your candidate's emotional intelligence.
As a hiring manager, there's a lot of pressure on you to find the right candidates — they'll become an important part of the company and possibly take on a share of the responsibility. Doing research about the best practices when it comes to interviewing and reading up on the latest news for human resources professionals can help you bid adieu to stale, ineffective interviewing techniques and hone in on the tactics that will allow you to find the best fit for the role and your company.
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