Better Interviewing Will Yield Better Hires
By Bob Gershberg, CEO & Managing Partner, Wray Executive Search
Sorry to be the bearer of bad news, but if you are like most, your interview processes are sorely lacking. Still using the standard interview questions created by Robert Half in the 1960’s? You know the ones: “Tell me about yourself?” “What are your greatest strengths?” “What are your weaknesses (or PC version – areas of development)?” “What is the most exciting project you’ve ever worked on?” You are boring your top candidates and not getting an effective read on the interviewee. Behavioral interviews focus on the past, allow for hyperbole and ignore the future. Train yourselves and your hiring authorities to ask well thought out questions that are consistent across all candidates and by all means, predetermine what a good or great answer is.
If you currently conduct panel interviews, stop. They are ineffective. Much like at a Senate hearing, the interviewers put on a show for each other and the interviewees are intimidated. One-on-one is the proven path to glory. Weight or prioritize your questions and keep score. After interviewing 5 candidates, your memory is not as good as you think it is.
Mission critical in the interview process is to determine how the candidate will perform and solve problems at your firm. Ask them how they would identify opportunities. Then query how they would fix them. How do they see the evolution in your industry, segment and specific brand? How would they create a more innovative environment? Have them forecast trends and change in the industry and find out how they would manage it. Forward thinking is essential. How they brilliantly handled something in 1992 is irrelevant and likely gotten even more brilliant over the years.
Delve into how they handled and managed change in the previous year or two and throw some anticipated change at them and ask how they would manage it. How would they remain cutting edge and a best in class expert in your industry/segment? Inquire as to their thoughts on first-year innovation and subsequent implementation.
Find out what motivates them and have them rank those factors. Query as to how to best manage them. What do they view as their strongest capabilities that will make them a top performer? Focus on your enterprise, its real issues and the specific role for which you are hiring. Strong professionals will stand out with these types of questions. You will make more exceptional hires.
The job of recruiting is too serious to be handed off in its entirety to others. Your legacy will be set, after all, by the teams you choose to accomplish your objectives.
All the best,
Bob Gershberg | CEO | Managing Partner
(888) 875-9993 ext 102
Finding tomorrow’s leaders today!
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