I was reading an article from Inc. about “How to Hire Great People—Every Time” and thought the information would be beneficial for executive job seekers. After all, you are sitting on the other side of the table, and knowing some tips on business hiring tactics could give you a step up in the process.
There has been a slight improvement in the interview and hiring processes of companies over the last decade. There are still the “old believers” that ask a question like “Tell me about yourself” and think the answer can extract pertinent and useful information for the interviewer. Then, along come the “new age” interviewers who want to primarily ask behavioral questions. These examples are at opposite ends of the spectrum, and businesses are realizing that they need to rethink the hiring process to get the right candidates.
Here are four ways companies are changing their hiring processes:
1. Quit asking irrelevant “curveball” questions. It has become clear that these types of interview questions do not generate the information necessary to classify the candidate as the right fit for the job. NOTE to
NOTE to executive: What this means to you is that companies will be focusing more on interview questions that relate to the position and the skills needed to accomplish the job. Of course, it doesn’t hurt to keep your response to a “curveball” question in your back pocket just in case.
2. Be clear about what you want. Companies are encouraged to start the process by identifying the key skills and behaviors that a candidate needs to succeed in this position, and fit with the company. By knowing these up front, it helps the interviewer to compare apples to apples.
NOTE to executive: Read the job description that is provided for the job opportunity carefully as it will contain clues to key skills and behaviors. If this is a position that you found about through other channels such as networking or internal employee, ask questions about the expectations of the person they want to fill the position.
3. Proof. The companies need proof that you are who and what you say you are. There cannot be an ounce of doubt for the interviewer. They are looking for the closest fit and anything that can be disputed could get you disqualified.
NOTE to executive: You will be tested during the interview to prove that you can do what you represent. They may give you a specific problem to solve. Or, can you make quick decisions? A sample situation may be thrown your way, and timed, to simulate a situation under pressure.
4. Panel/multiple interviews. More companies believe “two heads are better than one.” By involving more people in the interview and hiring process, they get several perspectives that bring multiple levels of information and details that would not have been possible if the entire process was handled by one person.
NOTE to executive: You may be seeing more panel interviews that include many levels from several departments that would be affected by the hire. There also may be more interviews in the entire process. One company that I know of has a policy of a minimum of 8 interviews with everyone from the top executives down to the assistant for the new job candidate. They come together after all interviews are conducted to compare notes.
So executives be on alert that companies are sharpening their interviewing and hiring processes, and how that might affect you.