Multiple studies reveal that traditional interview techniques are not a reliable indicator of whether a person is a good fit for a position. They tend to focus on softball questions written by HR departments and answers which candidates have often memorized and rehearsed. What’s really needed is a way of evaluating potential hires based on the skills and abilities they need to succeed.
For decades, most firms have relied on screening, interviewing, and reference checks to determine hires. Today, the internet, the growth of metrics and new technology are rising together to challenge the status quo. A better way to achieve hiring success is through integrating situational and behavioral assessment structures that focus on cognitive ability, conscientiousness, and leadership.
Assessments as Interview Techniques
Assessments are extremely valuable for conducting career evaluations, reducing attrition rates, and determining leadership potential. They enhance the interview process by helping employers learn more about potential hires. By adding assessment tools to your interviews, your firm can add an element of objectivity to the process. They help you:
- Reveal if candidates have the skills they claim.
- Determine if a potential hire will fit in with your firm’s culture.
- Evaluate whether a candidate meets the criteria for the available position.
Assessments measure a host of traits, including communication, interpersonal skills, emotional intelligence, and management potential.
The Best Assessment Interview Techniques
- Big tech firms like Google have discovered that the number one predictor of how someone will perform on the job is a work sample test. For IT candidates, this could mean a test that asks them to solve engineering problems during the interview. The test alone, of course, is not enough to guarantee the perfect fit – other skills like collaboration and adaptability must also be weighed.
- First runners up are tests of general cognitive ability. Also known as aptitude tests or general intelligent assessments, they are often very accurate predictors of future work performance. Using cognitive ability tests, you can reveal valuable insights into just how suitable a candidate is for a position. These tests have definitive right and wrong answers to questions in categories such as verbal, numerical, and abstract thought abilities. The results let you know a candidate’s ability to acquire, retain, organize, and apply information in a wide range of circumstances.
- Finally, and on par with general cognitive assessments, are behavioral and situational structured interviews. Behavioral questions focus on job knowledge, background, hypothetical situational and actual past behavior. Situational questions pose speculative questions related to the current job and tend to start with “What would you do if …?”
A Better Interview
Research has shown that the best interview process is one that combines multiple assessment techniques done before a traditional interview. For an interviewer, results from several assessments before a face-to-face meeting will help reduce costs and result in better hires by weeding out the least-suitable candidates. That leaves you a smaller, but much better-qualified pool of talent from which to choose.