Why Interviewing Matters (And How To Do It Better) - infographic

When you’re launching a startup, leveling up your small business, or running a Fortune 500 company, building the right team is crucial. Your team is your business, and it all starts with the first interview. Unfortunately interviews have become poor indicators of how someone will fare in a given position thanks to generic questions like, ‘Tell me about yourself,’ or ‘Why did you leave your last job?’ If you want to hire a better team, you have to start with better interviews.

How Did Interviews Become So Awful?

Thomas Edison was famous for asking over 150 questions in a job interview, which is probably one of the things that made him famous. All those inventions he was credited with discovering? He actually had a business where he employed inventors to get things done, and it all started with a better interview.

Over time, however, interviews shifted toward the safe. There are legal protections in place to prevent discrimination in hiring, and overstepping these lines can leave you open to lawsuits. As a result, anything that is even remotely controversial gets thrown out by HR, so people tend to stick to a pre-approved list of ‘safe’ interview questions rather than being creative or shooting off the cuff.

The drawback? Interview questions end up being so generic both interviewer and interviewee can just Google interview questions and interview answers and regurgitate them to each other without ever really getting to any substantive questions. The result is an unhelpful, skewed interview that doesn’t really accomplish anything. How do you choose the right candidate if you don’t have any real information about them or what they are capable of?

Asking generic questions fails to assess skills or find character weaknesses. But most importantly it fails to give you an accurate picture of how a given job candidate’s skills set might compliment the skills sets on your established team or what else they might offer.

How To Do Interviews Better

The first step in better interviews is to hire by committee rather than having one individual make such a critical decision alone. After all, a new hire will be working with the entire team, so leaving the hiring up to one person is a great way to end up with a lopsided team. Hiring by committee gives everyone an opportunity to gauge not only skill sets, but also things like cultural fit, talent, and organizational values.

What’s more, better hiring practices such as this one can help foster a greater sense of community and inclusion as well as boosting diversity since accountability in hiring is spread across a wider group of people.

Pay attention to the actual questions asked during the interviewing process, as well. Instead of asking why a person left their last job, ask why they want to work for you. This accomplishes two things: first, it allows the response to be forward-looking rather than in the past, which is often irrelevant. Second, it gives you an opportunity to gauge whether the applicant did their homework on your company and actually wants to work there. Applicants who apply to companies they really want to work for are going to be much more successful than candidates who clicked send on 1000 job applications.

It’s Time To Do Better With Interviews

Finding the right person for the job is about far more than just looking through resumes for the best employment history or college education. Everyone will do well somewhere, so finding the person who will do well within your organization will help your business grow. Learn more about better interviewing practices from the infographic below.

How To Find and Hire The Best Candidates

How To Find and Hire The Best Candidates - infographic

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