Hacking The Interview Process: Why Interviewers Urgently Need Guidance
Interviews are the vital bridge between organizations and potential best-matched candidates. But they are challenging to get right, and many organizations have “never done a worse job of it.”
While interviewers across organizations are well-intentioned, they can often lack the skills and insights necessary to elicit the most job-related information from candidates. Most interviewers also lack sufficient training to learn about putting candidates at ease and portraying their organizations positively.
However, interviewers may not always be looking to brush up on their skills: Less than 3% of hiring managers pursue interview training or coaching in their own time. That’s where executive leadership must proactively invest in training for hiring managers to identify bias and improve interview quality.
During the great resignation where companies’ turnover seems neverending, HR and talent acquisition (TA) leaders must learn to evaluate talent efficiently while mastering interview skills once and for all. Here’s why current interviews aren’t working and how to change that.
It’s Not Just About Insights For Candidates; Interviewers Need Feedback Too
Some 42% of candidates will not apply for a position at a company if they’ve had a bad experience during the hiring process. And poor recruiting experiences also arise from underprepared interviewers or poor questioning techniques.
Hiring managers or recruiters often don’t have someone to guide them through preparing for an interview. In fact, many recruiters would admit to learning about best practices for communication with candidates from participating as candidates themselves.
Also, despite establishing clear goals to have a smooth interview structure, the preparation for each interviewer and what they consider to be ethical, polite, and respectful when interacting with candidates may differ dramatically. Interviewers can easily be unconsciously influenced by a candidate’s gender, age, race, and ethnicity.
One of the most critical aspects of an interview is closing it, where the interviewer explains next steps and leaves time for candidates to ask questions. Interviewers must close the discussion like they’d close a sale. After all, recruiters want the candidate to want to work at their company. As a matter of fact, recruiters with backgrounds relating to sales often have a level of emotional intelligence that’s vital for any hiring process.
However, interviewers are often not trained on how to utilize their transferable skills, close interviews, or leave a positive candidate impression. So, they aren’t necessarily searching for tools or intelligent feedback to improve. That’s where executive leaders and organizations need to proactively guide interviewers’ self-development processes to enhance their skillsets further.
Interviewers Don’t Always Know If Candidates Would Succeed In Jobs
Screening for the best candidates is a big challenge for hiring teams, as they often lack the understanding of how to rate a candidate reliably. Many entirely depend on their instincts without an official guide to help them identify the most suitable candidates.
Interviewers always cite the difficulties they face when trying to elicit indicators about a potential candidate’s likelihood of success. They may create their list of job-relevant questions to discern candidates’ knowledge, skills, and abilities but still find it difficult to make confident, bias-free decisions after collating the information from interviews.
Organizations sometimes offer interviewers in-person training, covering how to run interviews, behave, and recognize potential best-matched candidates, and what questions to ask. Occasionally, these “classroom” trainings will also involve shadowing expert interviewers to pick up tips. However, these methods are not always effective nor scalable.
So, What Can Be Done? Can AI Come To The Rescue?
Artificial intelligence (AI) tools have the potential to help by analyzing an interviewer’s performance and reducing bias while ensuring candidates have a positive experience.
Video interviews and AI-based cognitive services could analyze interviewers’ talent measurement conversations and assess their conformance to organizational policies, regulatory compliance, and diversity and inclusion goals. They could also guide interviewers through topics, monitor them for appropriate probing, help them transition between topics, and indicate when to use a conversational tone.
For example, in an ideal interview, an interviewer should speak often enough but not be the only one talking. If an interviewer speaks for the majority of the duration, AI tools would flag that and provide feedback. Similarly, AI will also look at topic coverage to ensure that the interviewers cover all the critical areas to establish job fitment. This is all possible through combining linguistic frameworks and contextually trained AI models.
These insights could easily be shared across an organization with team leaders for peer-to-peer reviews, which should nudge business and TA leaders to standardize best practices for interviews.
Feedback for any interviewer means they can continually progress in their careers, look at what topics elicited the best information from candidates, and replay their responses. Ultimately, this will help to improve the overall candidate experience.
Plus, based on established models such as Big 5, natural language processing and psycholinguistic analytics can provide more accurate insights and competency ratings into a candidate’s unique personality profile. By understanding the behavioral, learnability, and performance qualities of top talent, interviewers can better identify, recruit, and hire candidates.
From this, interviewers will be able to create a fair, equitable, and accessible experience for all. This is vital since nearly 80% of TA professionals stated that “diversity hiring” should be the most important trend in recruiting for 2022.
Most interviewers lack training and could benefit from new AI applications being developed to reduce subjective interpretations that impact hiring decisions. However, they may not be looking to improve their skills. This is why leaders at organizations must recognize the need for these technologies to enhance their talent measurement cycles during the Great Resignation and gain a full 360 view of potential talent and their interviewers.