Job applicants often are highly skilled at fooling interviewers! They create a terrific impression. But, when you hire them, they fall far short of the terrific impression they made on you. Interviewing should be the third step in your hiring process.
Before interviewing anyone, make sure they do well on (1) Bio-Data and (2) Pre-Employment Tests. Then, interviewing will be the next, or third, step in your applicant assessment process.
To help you avoid getting fooled by job applicants you interview, here are insights and techniques you can use.
First, realize job candidates are acting when you interview them. What you see is acting, drama, theater. They purposely put on a show for you!
Second, many job applicants thoroughly memorized what to say and do from job hunting books and classes. They buy a job hunting book or attend a seminar, and act out all the recommendations they learned. And that certainly fools a lot of interviewers.
Third, job candidates quickly make you “fall in love” with them within the first two minutes. How? They use rapport-building techniques used by good sales reps. For example, almost immediately after meeting you, they (a) compliment your office, (b) compliment your company, and (c) make you laugh. Voila! That melts your heart and you, in effect, fall in love, because they acted charming and delightful.
Fourth, the job applicant was referred to you by someone you like or respect. So, before you even meet the candidate, you have good feelings about the person. Sometimes that is deserved. But sometimes it leads you to feeling too positive about the applicant.
Fifth, you are too lazy to find more applicants! On your “To-Do List” of 10 things to do, finding more applicants is number 25! So, you feel a vested interest in (a) liking the applicant and (b) not spending your valuable time finding better candidates.
Schedule job interviews only with applicants who do well in these two steps of your hiring process:
1ST STEP = BIO-DATA
Start by listing biographical experiences (bio-data) common among your terrific employees in each job. Your terrific employees are both (a) highly productive and (b) low turnover. Those are two qualities you want in anyone you hire.
List the work experiences, education, training, and pay your good employees had BEFORE they started working for you. Then, when you look at applicants’ applications or resumes, potentially consider only people who have very similar work experiences, education, education, and training.
Also, only consider applicants who were paid less than what you would pay the employee, because applicants love jobs that pay more than they previously earned, and hate jobs where they get lower pay.
You can see if an applicant has bio-data similar to your terrific employees by (a) looking at application or resume and also (b) doing 10-15 minutes phone interview.
If an applicant’s bio-data differs much from your best employees’ bio-data, then do not waste your time interviewing the person. But, if a candidate’s bio-data is similar to your best employees’ bio-data, then do second step of pre-employment tests.
2ND STEP = PRE-EMPLOYMENT TESTS
Good pre-employment tests see right through the acting an applicant does in the interview, and tells you if an applicant has work qualities similar to, or different than, your best, superstar employees.
For white-collar jobs, have applicants take two types of pre-employment tests: (1) Personality test and (2) Cognitive ability or aptitude tests.
For blue-collar jobs, have applicants take these types of pre-employment tests: (1) Integrity, honesty or dependability test and (2) Cognitive ability or aptitude tests.
Note: You should use cognitive aptitude or ‘brainpower’ tests, because you do not want to waste your time interviewing anyone who does not have brainpower needed to (a) learn the job and (b) correctly think through situations on-the-job.
Start by having your organization’s terrific employees in a job take the tests. Their scores become benchmark test scores for that job in your organization.
If an applicant gets test scores like benchmark test scores of your terrific employees, then that applicant definitely is worth you interviewing. But, if an applicant gets test scores different than the job’s benchmark test scores, then you probably do not want to waste your valuable time interviewing that person.
First, schedule one to two hours to conduct in-depth interview. Any applicant who memorized good answers in a job hunting book might fool you for 59 minutes. But by minute 60, it will be harder to keep fooling you.
Second, before the interview, make a list of important job talents you must have in the person you hire.
Third, make vague questions to see if applicant has those job talents.
For instance, a job might require teamwork. Do NOT ask, “Are you good at teamwork?” Why? Because if you ask a question like that, the applicant knows to say, “Yes,” even if they hate teamwork.
Instead, ask a vague question that does not imply ‘correct’ answer. For example, you could ask, “Tell me two specific projects you really enjoyed doing?” Then, listen carefully for whether those projects involved teamwork.
Fourth, often ask for SPECIFIC examples. For instance, if applicant talks about handling a lot of small details, then you ask, “Give me two specific examples of you handling a lot of small details well, and also two specific examples of you doing poorly or goofing up handling small details in your work.”
Fifth, avoid getting fooled by
> Applicant acting charming and making you laugh
> Applicant was referred to you by person you like
> You being too lazy to find more applicants!
Only interview applicants who are similar to your best employees IN
1. Bio-Data, e.g., work-related experiences, education, training, and more
2. Pre-Employment Test scores
Also, steer clear of interviewing applicants who earned the same or higher compensation than you would pay employee you hire.
Then, in interviews, spend one to two hours. Ask vague questions that reveal if applicant has job talents you want in person you hire. Also, ask candidate for a lot of specific examples from jobs they held.
For more information on Pre-Employment Test contact Dr. Michael Mercer