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Performance Based Interviews Are you hiring the best person for the job? Is it time to upgrade your competency or behavioural questions to performance-based interviews? But many companies that rely heavily on the interview for their selection decisions may not realize that some types of structured behavioural and competency interviews can be problematic and may result in missing out on hiring the best person for the job.
It's important to understand the limitations of these types of interviews and how you can effortlessly overcome and "upgrade" them by using performance-based interviews.
Structured interviews are a dramatic improvement over unstructured interviews Structured and competency interviews with behaviourally-anchored rating scales were introduced years ago and were a vast improvement over the infamous unstructured interview.
They were designed to ask and rate each applicant using the same questions and set behavioural responses.
This made structured behavioural and competency interviews more defensible than unstructured interviews and minimized or eliminated many types of biases e. Structured behavioural and competency interviews were indeed a vast improvement over the dark ages of the unstructured interview because the questions asked were often much more relevant to the job and this frequently resulted in better employees but not always the best.
Problems with structured and competency interviews At first glance, structured or competency interviews seem pretty thorough. Unfortunately, applicants can now obtain these types of questions and answers from a variety of sources.
For example, an online Internet search for "behavioural interviews" will quickly produce many behavioural questions and ideal responses. And almost every bookstore is well stocked with a variety of books that provide questions and answers to behavioural and competency interviews.
As well, many career counselling centres also teach applicants how to respond to these questions and I have even seen the odd article with a quick "how-to" instructional focus on behavioural or competency questions.
So clearly, widespread use has led to widespread availability of these materials. Behavioural and competency-based questions are time-consuming to develop The reason questions and answers have become so widespread may indeed be due in part to a common complaint I hear from HR professionals: Thus, once a question is developed, it is often "recycled" for a wide variety of related jobs, with little or no modification.
After all, behavioural and competency questions are usually targeted to the transferable skills and traits that make up 75 per cent of each job. Applicants can and do memorize the correct responses to these types of questions because in the end, there aren't really that many different questions e.
And this seriously impacts the validity of your interview as well as the success of your new recruit when these individuals have just memorized the "right" answers. Set responses can lead to hiring party slip ups during the interview Even when applicants haven't memorized answers to structured interview questions, many managers even those trained or with many years experience unwittingly or subconsciously give applicants help during the interview by asking leading questions.
This is especially true with questions where suggested responses are available e. In this case, managers use the suggested responses as a checklist and ask applicants if they have experience with any of the missing points.
The end result is an elevated score for applicants and this increases their chances of being hired. And if they are, the manager is often disappointed and wonders why the new employees don't meet expectations.
Yet these managers know they made the selection decision to hire these individuals and therefore, will reluctantly try to "make do" with them, saying nothing. A similar problem occurs when managers deviate from the structured interview process.
Maybe these managers have favourite questions they want to ask, maybe they think they have a knack for finding a top performer using "gut feel", perhaps they don't feel comfortable with or are unsure about using behavioural or competency interviews and perhaps they just feel that the questions and answers aren't giving them a clear picture of how well each applicant will perform on the job.
Whatever the reason, individual managers at many organizations still use unstructured interviews even though their HR departments have officially adopted behavioural or competency interviews for the organization.
Previous work experience is not the best indicator of performance on the new job Another emerging problem with structured behavioural or competency interviews is that they often evaluate applicants based on previous work experience, as opposed to each applicant's ability to apply their knowledge and experience to the performance required on the new job.
And since applicants can self-select any situation or scenario when they answer a structured or competency question, they wisely select answers that put them in the best possible light. This is akin to the days of unstructured interviews when applicants learned to answer the question, "What are your weaknesses?
A bigger problem is when a false negative occurs. This happens more often than you think because applicants are free to choose one or two examples that seem to best demonstrate their abilities from many possible examples and experiences.
The problem is that applicants have to make their choice without knowing exactly what the manager was looking for and this means a true top performer can be mistakenly screened out the competition.
Evidence of problems with structured and competency interviews Evidence of interview problems can readily be found in a number of places.
First, review some questions from recent interviews in your department or organization. If questions don't exist, I think you will find some managers are using an unstructured approach and are probably winging it.
Simply sitting in on a few interviews will confirm this for you. For behavioural and competency interviews, I think you will find the same questions or types of questions are being used over and over again for many different jobs with very few changes.
After all, many departments or organizations adopt, profile, highlight or require six to eight "core competencies" each year. If you sit in on a few of these structured interviews, I think you will also find that the hiring managers are frequently asking leading questions as much as 40 per cent of the time.
It is almost impossible to get top performers unless you ask the right questions.[*UNIQUE] Team Building Experience Sandton -Pays for It's SELF! Get High Performance Teams, Resilient Mindsets, Reduce Conflcts, build engagement & Happiness. HR Guide to the Internet: Personnel Selection: Articles: Performance Based Interviews Are you hiring the best person for the job?
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