Feb 2, 2015

What’s wrong with job interviews today?

Too much. In fact, according to a recent CareerBuilder survey of more than 6,000 global hiring managers, more than half of employers in each of the ten largest world economies have felt the effects of a bad hire.

With that many people having had bad hires, something must be wrong with the way we interview job candidates.

For starters, here are six (6) common problems with the job interview process today, and how to fix them to land better hires and improve employer brand:

1. Interviews aren’t being standardized

Today, no two interviews are alike — and that’s a problem.

Most of us have probably experienced an interview where the conversation flowed in multiple directions, often times in directions unrelated to the actual job interview. Even if you have a list of interview questions on hand, the nature of conversation makes it easy to venture off topic.

In an effort to level the playing field and ensure that candidates are all being asked the same questions, consider one-way video interviews. This unique approach to the job interview is quickly gaining speed within the hiring process, as it allows hiring managers to fairly assess and compare candidates.

During one-way video interviews, candidates record their responses to a series of pre-set questions, in a pre-determined amount of time. Opting for one-way video interviews establishes a sense of reliability, by having candidates answer the same questions in the same amount of time.

2. Cultural fit is left out of the equation

While a job candidate may seem like a great job fit, they may not be a good cultural fit. You worked hard to create a company culture employees can be proud of, so it should be at the forefront of your hiring decisions.

To better assess candidates for cultural fit, try asking questions like,

  • In what type of work environment are you most productive and happy?” or.
  • What management style motivates you to do your best work?” or
  • When working with a team, what role are you most likely to play?”

A candidate’s answer to these questions can give you a better idea of whether or not they would fit well within your company’s unique culture.

Have fun with it. In addition to the typical job interview questions, it can also help to throw a fun, seemingly random question out there that relates specifically to your company culture. You want the candidate’s personality to shine through, when answering these questions, not just their professional demeanor.

3. Little (to no) collaboration over hiring decisions

When it comes to making hiring decisions, the more the merrier. Having input from multiple sources provides unique perspectives on job candidates. Collaborating with colleagues can eliminate any bias or prejudice that can occur when assessing candidates.

If there can only be one interviewer present at the time of the interview, make sure that someone is taking clear and concise notes on the candidate, to share with others after the fact. Or, better yet, consider conducting a video interview.

Video interviews can often be recorded, and easily shared with colleagues. Some video interview platforms even offer collaboration tools, such as comment and rating systems, to make collaborating on candidates easier than ever.

4. Assessment is only surface-level

Rather than just evaluating job candidates on their responses to interview questions, dig a little deeper by having them complete some form of pre-employment testing.

For instance, try creating a mock assignment that closely resembles what they would be working on if they were offered the job. Their ability to accurately complete the assignment, in a timely manner, can help you find the candidates most likely to succeed in the open position.

Depending on the job, it may also be helpful to require work samples from job candidates. These work samples are likely what the candidate deems to be their best work, and can give you a better idea of their skills, as they relate to the job.

5. Interviews are primarily held in-person

In-person interviews are expensive. They require both the interviewer and interviewee to take valuable time out of their day to meet, and they can also cost candidates a pretty penny in travel expenses. In some cases, having to travel a long distance for an interview can completely turn a candidate off from the process.

The solution? Video interviews.

Advances in technology now make it possible to hold inexpensive live or one-way interviews over the Internet. This type of interview can save time and costs for all parties involved, making it an attractive screening and interview option.

6. Candidates are kept in the dark

Keep in mind that the interviewee isn’t the only one being judged during the interview process.

That process can say a lot to candidates about the employer brand and fuel their decision to pursue a job with your company or to look elsewhere. That being said, don’t keep highly qualified candidates in the dark.

Not communicating with candidates throughout the hiring process can reflect poorly on the employer brand. Instead, keep candidates informed and respond to their follow-ups — doing so will create a more positive candidate experience.