Are Job Interviews a True Reflection of an Applicant?

Hiring managers can't always trust their 'gut instincts' when making a hire.
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Job interviews are an important means of selecting the best job candidate. In an interview, the hiring manager gets a sense of an applicant's personality, level of motivation, professionalism and communication skills. However, it's important that the interview is conducted properly to do the most rigorous screening. The right interview questions, along with testing the skills of the applicant, are likely to yield the best hire.

Pitalls of Interviews

    Just because a potential employee is strong at interviewing doesn't mean he has the skills and experience to be successful on the job. Hiring managers sometimes give preference to candidates who are attractive, charismatic -- or even tall. Conversely, an applicant who is introverted or lacks speaking skills might be poor at interviewing even though he is exceptionally qualified for the job. For these reasons, employers should look beyond superficial qualities when considering a new hire.

Ask the Right Questions

    An interview is only effective if it gives the hiring manager a rounded sense of a job candidate's abilities. It is important to structure the interview in way that you learn not just a candidate's experience, but how that experience can be applied to the specific job. For example, if you are hiring an accountant for a restaurant company, ask the candidate to provide examples of her expertise in restaurant accounting software and systems. Find out what motivates the candidate and determine if you offer an environment where the candidate will thrive. If you have a sales business that does a lot of cold calling on potential clients, ask the candidate to describe her strategy for meeting prospects and closing the deal.

IQ Testing

    Intelligence is an obvious, but key, predictor of success on the job. A manager should base her assessment of a potential employee's intellectual gifts not just on his resume and the interview, but also via tests. According to an article on the Forbes website, mental ability is a key skill that contributes to an employee's performance at most jobs. A basic IQ test can be administered online, often in under an hour, and can provide an unbiased snapshot of the potential employees' intellectual skills. Moreover, the Forbes article says, intelligence tests "are cheaper to administer, simpler, fairer, and less vulnerable to bias than the traditional job interview."

Skills Tests

    Skills and aptitude tests give the applicant a chance to show that she can execute the tasks associated with the job. For example, editor candidates can be given rough copy to edit, accountants can be given financial documents to analyze for errors, and TV show producers can be asked to pitch several ideas for a television segment. A candidate that shows that she can quickly do the tasks under the pressure of a hiring situation are likely to have the skills to excel once they land the job.

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