People are similar to Ice Bergs. Ninety percent of the iceberg is below the water's surface. Candidates show you the ten percent they want you see during the interview, not what is lurking below the surface. As a hiring decision-maker you need to be able to assess the whole person, not just the ten percent they want you to see. A lot of discovery depends on the interview questions you choose and the focus of your assessment strategy. If you want to get below the surface you can’t rely only on polished résumés, pre-screened references and scripted answers to common interview questions.
Building rapport is critical in a hiring interview. Yet, rapport building is often limited to a little small talk before the interview starts. Rapport is the ability to relate to others in a way that creates a higher level of trust and understanding. The more comfortable and relaxed the candidate is, the more open and honest they will be with their answers to your interview questions. Open-ended questions work well, because they allow the candidate to reveal themselves in the way they feel most comfortable. Open-ended questions often start with why, how, what, or describe. Here are two examples: Tell me about some of your current interests? Describe the person who has inspired you the most in your life or career? What book(s) have you read recently?
Common interview questions usually receive scripted answers. Avoid interview questions like: Where do you want to be in five years? What do you consider your biggest failure? What are your strengths and weaknesses? Get the candidate out of the interview office where they are more likely to show their core qualities. For example, take a walk around the business and introduce the candidate to a few people. You’ll get a better picture of your candidate if you get them out of the interview zone and watch how they interact with others. Do they treat everyone they meet with respect and show interest in what they do? Are they considerate of others? Do they engage easily with others? Another way to do this is to take your candidate out for lunch with their team to see how they interact. Does the candidate listen when people speak? Are they interested in learning about others or just talking about themselves?
A great way to assess a candidate’s communication skills and organization skills is to ask them to make a brief presentation. Give them 3 to 5 minutes to plan and organize the presentation and another 3 to 5 minutes to present. Select a relevant topic like: Why do you think you are the best candidate for this position? What is the biggest challenge you have overcome in your work or career?
Describe a problem they would be likely to face in their role and ask them to respond with how they would solve it. Give them 3 to 5 minutes to plan and organize their solution to the problem. You will be able to observe their ability to analyze the problem and think on their feet. This is their field. This is what they should be good at. See how well they can perform in their comfort zone.
Completing a Job Description Survey for your open position will create a customized Hiring Benchmark Report. This report offers a detailed profile of the work-related abilities, interests, motivations and personality traits of top performers in the position. The Hiring Benchmark Report provides data about the requirements of the job and it can also be used to supplement, organize and analyze the information provided in résumés, background checks and the interview. You will receive your Hiring Benchmark Report via email.