HR Management: Week 5

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How the Quality of the Interview Process Impacts the Recruiter and Recruited

Does a company’s interview process make a difference in what types of people they hire?

If I asked you to describe to me what an interview looks like in 30 seconds, you would probably describe a scene of a man in a suit sitting at his desk asking a nervous younger man, “So why do you want to work here?”. While this method isn’t intrinsically wrong, research has shown that many companies are missing more important factors in potential employees by only using the traditional methods like skimming resumes, hosting interviews, and selecting a candidate. In the article, The Perfect Hire, the author argues that current interview techniques are neglecting industrial and organizational psychology on how to screen individuals for jobs, and suggests that personality and IQ tests would be appropriate for more in-depth knowledge on who the recruiters are hiring (The Perfect Hire, Chamorro-Premuzic). The article goes on to acknowledge that tests like IQ tests are rarely utilized in hiring processes due to inconvenience, but occasionally standardized tests like the SAT or GRE can also indicate IQ levels.

How does a company structure an effective interview process then? For starters, research suggests building the process of the principles of validity, reliability, and utility. For sit down interviews, this could mean creating a list of standardized questions that allows for the hiring manager to eliminate inconsistencies between interviewers, as well as minimizing any reactions other than neutral to keep the space fair and professional for all individuals being interviewed. Recruiters are also not limited in getting creative. The Perfect Hire includes games, video submissions, or other non-traditional ways of capturing a person’s qualities that are just as effective as their predecessors.

Regardless of the specific tools used, interviews in total are getting a makeover with the invention of recruiting software that collects data from applicants via social media usage or content, interview virtual simulations, and often more extensive screening process. As the interview process adapts, we can only assume that companies will adapt with it as different types of individuals enter careers they may have otherwise never been exposed to.

In my own experience….

I’ve had the opportunity to interview for multiple different types of jobs; for food service, basic childcare, and for a residential social work position. All three were different, naturally, but the hardest one for me interviewing for the social work position, because in addition to asking me the basic questions, they also gave me multiple very realistic situations and asked how I would handle them. This technique is similar to the gamification idea in The Perfect Hire, because they are put through simulations to see what their honest reactions would be. This seemed to have given my interviewers a more tangible look into how I could perform as a professional rather than just my experiences on paper or short responses. However, I exited the interview with a very murky idea of what the work entailed, which was a stumbling block in my choice of whether or not to accept the position. All three interviews had strengths and areas for improvement given their respected fields.

In reference to the core principles of reliability, utility, and validity, all three interviews accomplished what was most important, which was determining if I was qualified enough to be worth hiring. In my food service interview, I was asked many questions about how quickly I can think on my feet, if I was comfortable giving others tasks and upholding the quality of product produced. In my childcare interview, the recruiter was more focused on if I knew first-aid, was a safe driver, if I could act responsible and be a role model for children. Finally, in my social work job, I was asked many questions around my emotional capacity, how I would handle high-stress situations in a trauma informed way, and keep all the residents safe. All three successfully were able to gage what skills I needed for that specific role, even if I wasn’t proficient in others. However, if I had taken an IQ test before all three would that have changed their decision? In my own personal experience, a large portion of someones ability to succeed in their work is grasping the social connections and norms, and being aware of one’s interpersonal skills, things that an IQ test may not capture. But who knows?

How would you conduct an interview?


Chamorro-Premuzic, Tomas. The Perfect Hire. Scientific American Mind,

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