Inverview Tip: How To Prevent The Bad Hire

Let’s face it – no one enjoys interviews. They’re awkward, stressful and time consuming. In many (but not all) hiring cases, they’re a necessity.

This cartoon is a funny example to illustrate how you can create a memorable interview that reveals if the person you want to hire is right for the job. It’s both a metaphor as well as a practical example. In this instance it’s appropriate if you’re hiring for a position that requires the person to be able to read instructions, have manual dexterity and patience!

Interview Question, How To Interview, Interview Tip

When I was in the printing industry, I had 3 or 4 specific tasks I would give a candidate at the first interview. All the tasks were designed to weed out the inexperienced or unskilled who “oversold” their abilities by revealing their deficiencies.

For example, I would ask them to open a ream of paper – if they proceeded to peel open the wrapping paper, I would stop them and end the interview.

I would ask them to stack a pile of a few hundred A4 sheets that had been collated, but were not neatly stacked. (There is a specific strategy to do this.)

These are revelatory and instantly assessable – they are pass/fail with no grey area for misinterpretation.

Every industry, profession, trade or process has tell-tale habits and techniques that you can use to quickly assess a person’s skills, abilities and aptitudes.

Ideally, you create 3 or 4 to ensure that the analysis is multi-dimensional. In my case, I had 4 tasks and a candidate had to pass 3 out of 4 to continue to the second, short list interview.

I worked for an IT company that had a technical proficiency test that you had to get 17 out of 20 to proceed to a second interview. PhDs would often struggle, obtain a score of 15 or 16 and would be rejected – to their utter bewilderment.

A process is a process and if it works to acquire the skills, aptitudes and capabilities you’re looking for – stick with it!

Of course there are thousands of personality and behavioural tests that can complement this approach, but that’s a discussion for another blog post!

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