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Creative Interview Techniques For Hiring

Creative Interview Techniques For Hiring

Have you ever hired a candidate because they did great in the interview but later performed poorly on the job? This scenario is more common than you might think because oftentimes there is a discrepancy between a candidate’s performance in the interview and their performance on the job.

Standard interview techniques are limited in what they can reveal about the candidate. For example, common interview questions are susceptible to canned responses that reveal little about the candidate’s actual competencies. In other words, while standard interviews may show that candidates can talk the talk, they do little to ensure that they can walk the walk. Here are three interview techniques that can help you assess your candidate’s on the job performance.

 

Give directions

One way to assess your candidates before the interview starts is giving specific directions in your interview invite. For example, you can say something like “Come to our office at 9:AM dressed in a collared shirt. Then take the elevator to the 10th floor and go in the third room on the right”.

These requests may seem a little ridiculous but they serve two purposes: first, they give you a good idea of whether your candidates can follow instructions, and second, it lets you gauge their attention to detail. If your candidate doesn’t meet any of the conditions (doesn’t show up on time, wears the wrong clothes, or goes into the wrong room) it could be an indication of carelessness on their part.

Granted, you shouldn’t immediately disqualify a candidate based on these conditions. However, they could be more revealing than simply asking them to talk about their experience.

 

Role play

If you’re hiring for a customer-facing position, you should consider incorporating role play into your interview. Play the role of a disgruntled customer and see how your candidate handles the situation. While this may not give you an exact representation of a real scenario, it lets you assess how the candidate behaves under stress and whether they can think on their feet.

Keep in mind that you should focus on how the candidate approaches the situation more than their actual responses. Do they remain calm and collected? Does their approach to the problem make sense? These observations should give you a good idea of how your candidate will treat your real customers.

 

Go for a test drive

If you are 90% sure that your candidate is right for the position but you want to be certain, invite them to work on site for a day. This is probably the most realistic assessment of their abilities you’ll get short of actually hiring them. If you are not impressed with your candidate’s performance, there’s no commitment to hire them. If you are, chances are you’ve found your next star hire.

Needless to say, you should compensate all your candidates for their hours worked. Keep in mind that the expense of thoroughly assessing candidates will be a lot lower than the expense of hiring the wrong candidates and having to replace them shortly.

Finding the right candidates for the job can be challenging, especially because it’s difficult to assess candidates’ on the job performance. However, if you give your candidates directions, incorporate role play in your interviews, and take your them for a test drive, you’ll be hiring the best in no time!

 



Content Manager

Stanley leads content at Merlin. He's on a mission to match the right candidates with the right employers. When he's not writing, he can be found playing with Google Analytics, running A/B tests, and learning Javascript.

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