Advancement of Interviews
If you consider the past 10 years or so, the largest change that comes to mind is the advancement and accessibility of technology. Not only have mobile phones improved, there is now a wider variety of equipment such as notebooks and virtual reality experiences. The majority of the population in first world countries are able to use a high quality camera and access the internet whilst on the go, resulting in a much more technologically minded generation.
As a result, these types of advances have now changed the way that firms, in particular larger brands are hiring. Whilst they have been able to increase the speed of screening candidates, they are now able to reach a much wider pool of candidates with the ability to improve the level of diversity in the workplace.
In this article we will explore some of the styles being adopted by businesses, of which have the potential to gain popularity among recruiters.
Pymetrics is a neuro-science based programme that uses artificial intelligence to screen possible hires. Algorithms are built off of existing employees and candidates take part in a series of games, of which collect behavioural data for each individual.
The aim of using screening tools are to reduce the time required to make a hire and ensure that only the most qualified candidates are invited to interview. In addition, the tool helps to remove any possible bias, ensuring increased opportunities throughout a more diverse hiring pool.
Another type of interview for businesses to consider is via video, one brand being Sonru. The technology allows recruiters to bypass initial face-to-face interviews by allowing candidates to answer a series of set questions in front of a camera in their own time. The clips can then be shared and viewed by recruiters before deciding who to invite to interview.
Benefits of this type of screening tool include cost effectiveness, time savings and the ability to source candidates from further afield without the issues of travel or differences in time zones.
Assessing Soft Skills
Banks such as Deutsche and Citi have begun to adopt personality tests, one in particular being Koru7 ™ as another form of screening tool. The idea is to measure a candidate by a set list of ‘Job Readiness Competencies‘ such as Grit, Curiosity, Teamwork and Rigor rather than focusing on their grades or which institute they gained qualifications.
Not only is this technique useful for firms, but it also helps a diverse range of candidates that may not have experience gain employment in their preferred careers. Rather than relying on the usual information such as qualifications, institutions of study and experience, employers can better consider potential. In addition, the information gained can support the interviewer when meeting face to face; therefore resulting in more tailored questions.
Strength Assessments via Virtual Reality
Rather than using hypothetical examples to explain how they would solve problems, candidates are now being asked to perform tasks in virtual environments. Lloyds Banking Group are the first company to trial this style of interview; however what difference will it really make?
The main idea is to provide employers with insight of how a potential hire may solve problems, rather than only talking about it. It may give candidates who aren’t as skilled at ‘selling themselves’ face-to-face a more level playing field.
Citadel and Citadel securities have developed one day competitions where quants and mathematicians have the chance to win a prize and later interview with the firms. The reason? To see how well prospective hires can work under pressure in a team. In addition, the competitions are designed to reflect the kind of work they will be expected to carry out if employed by Citadel.
The system that Citadel have developed reflects the size of the company and isn’t a technique that any smaller businesses could consider. However, the idea is to ask a candidate to show you what they can do, rather than rely on what they’re saying they can do.
Breakfast or Lunch Deal Makers or Breakers
Quite often these types of interviews are taken after a more traditional interview; however they may be utilised at any stage of the hiring process.
The benefits of interviewing over a meal helps you to see how a candidate may act in a more social setting, of which is an important factor if they’re to be hired at a higher level role. Factors to consider in this setting are the manners of the interviewee. Are they polite to waiting staff? Show up on time? Have good table manners and are thankful once the bill is paid? Furthermore, an interviewer will have to assess how well their lunch partner can focus on answering any questions whilst consuming a meal appropriately.
Many interviewers who use this method use a number of ways to assess a candidate, including:
• Asking for substitutions (excluding dietary requirements or allergies) means they can’t play by set rules
• Struggling to decide what to order, possibly an indecisive nature and unable to make snap decisions
• Rude to restaurant staff, could be an issue with hierarchy which will lead to adversity in the workplace.
The CEO of Charles Schwab Walt Bettinger is well recognised by his technique of meeting an interviewee for breakfast. Upon entering a restaurant he offers the waiting staff to ‘mess up’ the order of his guest. The reason for this, to see how that person will react as ‘it’s just another way to get a look inside their heart rather than their head‘.
Whilst a number of these up and coming techniques may seem out of reach to many businesses, in particular smaller firms, there are ideas in this list for any type of business. Even though traditional interview techniques are unlikely to become extinct any time soon, perhaps it is time to consider alternative methods, of which benefit both candidates and employers.
This list of techniques details methods that can improve hire time, making the process more efficient. In addition, some of them may help in cutting out bias’s that unfortunately still exist, increase the hiring pool and help locate candidates that fit into a company’s existing culture.