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Interview Tips

‘Traditional Interviewing is Dead’

New interview techniques are becoming increasingly popular… But why?

Video Q&As and presentations, Skype calls, coffee shop chitchat, verbal reasoning riddles, and even beer-drinking tests…!

Are companies trying too hard to be different – rather than doing what works best?

There’s no point looking innovative if your interview methods are favouring the wrong type of character for the job.

So how do you get the balance right?

Video Interviews:

Convenient and increasingly common. Technology makes it so easy. Why settle for a telephone call when you actually see the person? It saves time. It’s convenient when considering candidates from far afield or abroad.

But are you bringing in the visual element too soon? Is this inviting subjectivity? Are you really getting a fair reflection of someone’s character – by watching them talk to a screen, answering pre-set questions?

Peer-to-peer Interviews:

The interviewee meets the colleagues with which he or she is going to be working. It seems logical for assessing a cultural fit or suitability for a team environment.

But an emphasis on likeability isn’t always wise. Sometimes, you need someone different; someone, who isn’t afraid to speak out or challenge traditional approaches.

The Seven-minute Interview:

There are variants…, but Bluemercury Inc CEO Marla Malcolm Beck has advised a simple and fast three-step approach: 1. What’s the biggest impact you’ve had? 2. What do you want to do in five or 10 years’ time? 3. What experience do you have in a similar organisation?

A streamlined approach to gain evidence that the candidate is an achiever rather than just a doer, whether their industry knowledge and character collate to form realistic career ambitions, and how suitable they are for a particular business environment.

But can all this really be judged, reliably, so quickly? And by one person?

I agree that sometimes the simplest techniques are the best – but only if you understand the questions and have the right logical reasoning behind them.

Want to see someone’s passion for what they do? What sort of character they are? Just ask them why work gets them out of bed every morning. Ask them to talk through their career highlight to date, a portfolio, or, if you give them a test, discuss it afterwards and observe how they explain their approach.

Technology and/or left-field techniques have their uses…, but don’t let them cloud purpose.

You’re not looking to hire a best friend. And you’re not looking to hire someone who talks the talk.

You don’t always need eye-catching techniques; you just need the right techniques to deduce the right person for a particular job.

So what do you think? Are traditional methods underused, boring, or a thing of the past?

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