This article first appeared on HR Management.
Having selected the candidates – which we talked about last time – then come the interviews. And, these can now be “behaviorally smart”, using questions based on the outcomes of the pre-hire assessments you’ve completed.
Well-structured resumes are not difficult to produce, with or without a professional writer. We also know that performing well at an interview might fall into the category of acting out a role. So, with the cost of a bad hire reckoned by some in the recruitment industry to be in the region of $240,000 per employee including salary, onboarding and training, getting the interview process right is crucial.
Historically, many times people are employed for their skills and knowledge and little or no attention is paid to identifying candidate’s true talents. Natural behaviors which continually and predictably repeat themselves over time and are often not easily seen in an interview.
Armed with the pre-hire assessment natural discovery outcomes, the interviewer is equipped to question candidates in a way that targets the behaviors hidden below the surface, now revealed through the discovery process. This makes behavioral questioning at the interview stage even more important.
Clearly, it’s key at the interview stage for interviewers to be aware of their own blind-spots. Without this insight, it could form part of the failure to uncover the natural behaviors of the candidates.
Both interviewer and candidate will have “learned” to operate a certain way, not necessarily in line with who they naturally are. Potentially, over time, and with pressure the natural behavior would emerge, and the candidate could well not be performing the way that was hoped and the interviewer might miss critical issues that need to be addressed with the candidate.
A key first step in pre-hire assessment and the behavioral interviewing process, is to understand what skills, talents and behaviors are already present in the business. This exercise reveals the gaps both in talents, behaviors and communication styles that need to be filled as part of the ongoing success of the business.
To avoid hiring based on empathy felt toward any particular candidate and moving away from the traditional interviewing style (“tell us about…”), behaviorally smart recruiters question candidates in ways that necessitating responses with stories about how, having faced a challenge or event in the past, they dealt with it. What they learned from the experience and how? With hindsight, how they would have done things differently?
Taking this conversational approach – informed and focused via your pre-hire assessment?- will reveal behaviors, communication styles, problem-solving skills and business maturity. That means better fit for role, team and culture, and, hopefully, longevity.