Archive for December, 2006

The Interviewless Interview

Everyone accepts that the interview is one of the least successful ways to select people for a job. But perhaps this is not surprising.

Some time ago the CIPD reported that only 21% of those that undertake job interviews have been trained. Even if trained many of those will only undertake an interview once or twice a year and thus lack experience.

However, the main problems with an interview is that, no matter who is doing it, the interviewer brings with them a huge number of prejudices, opinions on what is required to succeed in the job (many of them irrelevant) and other baggage that gets in the way of selecting the right person for the job.

Indeed Walt Disney was so aware of his prejudices that when he auditioned for the “Voice” of Snow White he made each actress speak her lines from behind a screen so that he would not be influenced by her appearance.

So the question put here is: Suppose a process could be undertaken that could accurately measure an individual and the information supplied by them against a known set of criteria without the need for time consuming interviews. Would that save time, increase accuracy and the chances for a more successful appointment?

The information that would be assessed against the agreed criteria would include:
A deeper review of the applicants CV
? A written statement by the applicant on their job requirements
? Online Numeracy & Literacy questionnaire
? Online Personality Test
? Personal references taken up at time of application
? Educational Qualification Certificates sent in by applicant with CV
? Applicant writes a report to a problem relating to the job

By benchmarking these measurements against a pre- determined list of job requirements and scores it is possible to identify a “preferred candidate”.

However, no selection process can remove meeting the candidate altogether. After all, there may be specific issues that need addressing.

It’s at the “Preferred candidate” stage that the individual is invited to meet those that he/she will be working with.

The objective of this meeting is NOT to review the CV or other submitted material, although some questions to increase clarity could be made, but merely to ensure that the applicant can communicate properly and that the personality fits into the culture of the team, is able to present themselves, etc.

At this point physical demonstrations of abilities could be demonstrated by the applicant. For instance: if a Training Manager was being recruited it would be at this point that the applicant be asked to deliver a short training talf for fifteen minutes.

So how could “Cheats” be avoided?
Readers might ask how cheats could be avoided by online questionnaires. This should be easy by ensuring that the questionnaires and reports being supplied are properly measured with “Known criteria” against the job and that questions asked are changed at regulat intervals.

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