Interview techniques changing the hiring game

Doing things, the same way it has always been done tends to yield more of the same result. This approach is a dangerous game if we hope to be successful in a rapidly changing working world. Just as traditional business cannot compete in this ever-evolving world, traditional interviews fail to assess some pretty important hiring measures, and we know how expensive an ill-matched hire can be.

While the traditional methods aren’t going anywhere anytime soon, the areas in which traditional interviews tend to fall short include assessing candidate soft skills (which have never been more important than they are now as the future of work gains traction), understanding their weaknesses, taking into account the interviewers bias, the time to hire, and the risk that the right questions won’t be asked. Traditional interviews leave much to be desired and tend to take up a lot of time for everyone involved. Thankfully, there are some new methods and tools making their way into our processes that are effectively solving these problems.

Let’s look at some of the interview innovations making their way into hiring processes.


Job auditions or simulations

Did you know that 81% of people lie during the interview? Now that’s a scary statistic! This is according to award-winning social psychologist and author of The Best Place to Work, Ron Friedman.

Traditional interviews might give you an idea of how candidates present themselves, but it tells you little more than what’s on their CV and how good they are at interviews. What you really want to know is how they will perform in the role you are recruiting for. This is exactly why job auditions are becoming a popular alternative. Throwing your candidates in the deep end and seeing if they can swim will give you the most realistic look into how they work, manage stress, think on their feet etc. The shy and awkward candidate that would likely never get a second thought may well outperform the polished professional who blew you away in the traditional setting.

This is not only a benefit to the employer but gives your candidates a real sense of a day in the job you’re recruiting for which shows them exactly what they are signing up for, which is bound to improve your retention rate too.

There’s no one size fits all when it comes to auditions, but a few of the ways that companies are implementing this method include hackathons, a day in the role with the team, and others even hire candidates for a trial period of a few weeks. The benefits of this method include a realistic idea of the candidate’s personality, candidates get to try out the job and decide if it is a good fit for them, there’s less room for bias, and candidates can’t lie about their skills.


Soft skill assessments

Soft skill assessments are fast becoming the new normal. It’s a great way to get individualised insights about candidates personalities at scale. It’s a lot faster to have 50 people take a quiz than to sit with each candidate personally! These assessments can give you information on soft skills like teamwork, flexibility and adaptability, problem-solving ability and more. Companies are fast realising that soft skills really do affect job performance and so this type of assessment is gaining popularity. Benefits include a positive experience for the candidate and more realistic personality information, not to mention the time saved.


Casual interviews

While casual interviews aren’t by any means new or a fancy innovation, they are certainly getting the attention they deserve of late. Meeting in an informal setting puts the candidate at ease, and when people feel comfortable (read: not nervous) you are far more likely to see more of a candidates personality and it is an opportunity to really get to know who you are interviewing. It’s super easy, completely free and doesn’t require any extra preparation.

A famous example of this in action is Charles Schwab’s CEO, Walt Bettinger who likes to meet his candidates at a restaurant. He gets there early and tells the waiter to mess up the candidates order to observe how they react. The benefits of this method are a positive candidate experience, it puts both the candidate and interviewer at ease, and you get to know a candidate on a more personal level.


Bonus: Video interviews

Video interviews are not new either, but new tech is taking this to the next level. Live video interviews allow hiring managers to interview remote candidates conveniently and are less cold than a phone call. It’s also an efficient way to schedule interviews with decision-makers who possibly don’t have much time in their diaries, speeding up the time to hire.

Live video isn’t the only way these are being conducted. One-way videos where candidates record themselves answering the interview questions are also getting some attention. The benefits here are that busy passive candidates can pick a convenient time to record their interview, nervous candidates have a chance to show off their skills without the pressure of a live interview and hiring managers can interview a wider pool of candidates in a shorter time. It’s convenient and efficient, what’s not to love?

These improvements on traditional methods haven’t come about for nothing. Companies realise the need to make smarter hiring decisions as we move into a highly competitive and rapidly evolving future. These methods allow you to measure skills and understand and know your candidates better. Don’t make your hiring decisions on a hunch, make sure your candidates are the best fit.