Ask a recruiter: what are the latest interviewing trends?


Interviewing trends have changed dramatically over the years. So how should we think about hiring in 2021? 

In our next instalment of the ‘Ask a Recruiter’ series, HRM asked three senior recruitment specialists to share their tips for trying to eliminate unconscious bias in the interview process and how to assess for culture add. Here’s what they had to say:

1. Try the plus and minus technique

Peter Murphy, director C3 Talent

It’s interesting to look at interviews in 2021. While they’ve changed dramatically, with many going virtual, the same problems are still cropping up. The biggest mistake HR professionals make in interviews is talking too much. They come out of the interview realising they don’t actually know anything about the candidate because they didn’t stop to listen.

This is where artificial intelligence and video interviews can assist and seem like a perfect alternative, because they can give a fuller picture of the candidate before you meet them. (Editor’s note: proceed with caution. As HRM has written before, these tools can easily introduce biases without you even realising).

Video interviews let a candidate record their answers to prewritten questions. These tools can be really useful in the screening process, especially for graduate or high-volume roles where you might get inundated with applicants. But you need to balance how you use them. I think they should only be seen as a value add, not a replacement for a full interview. 

HR and recruitment is one of the only jobs in the world where the product we’re dealing with has the ability to change its mind. I don’t think you can pick up on the nuances of human behaviour in pre-recorded interviews.

While AI-based tools can introduce biases, it’s even easier for them to crop up in face-to-face interviews. To keep my biases in check, whenever I conduct an interview, I always make a note of my first impression of the candidate. I put a plus at the top of my notes if I immediately like them, and a minus if I’m not impressed.

When I put down a plus, I go harder on drilling in on what their skills are and what they’re actually going to bring to the role, rather than letting myself go easy on them because I like them. If I put down a minus, I try to really like them and get them talking about themselves.

I wouldn’t be able to challenge my impressions through a pre-recorded interview, so it’s important HR has an opportunity to talk to the candidate face to face.

Want to learn about some of the lesser known unconscious biases, or gain a check list of things to do before, during and after a job interview? Click here to see the infographic on your full screen.

2. Interview for culture add, not culture fit

Nicole Gorton, director, Robert Half Australia

Many hiring managers are looking for candidates who mirror the job advertisement exactly, or who held the exact same position at their previous organisation. What you should be asking is, ‘What could someone from a different background bring to the table?’ For example, if you’re looking to hire a client services manager, and a former journalist applies for the role, instead of dismissing them off the bat, you should take the time to see what value they might add.

Hiring on potential is a great way to build your workplace culture. This means considering someone who can bring something new in terms of culture, despite perhaps needing some skills development or additional training. Look for candidates who are a culture add, not a culture fit.

In this case, what you are looking for in the interview is promising behavioural traits such as the ability to distil complex information. You want to drill down into the ‘soft’ or ‘essential skills’ relevant to the role. Do they consider themselves a quick learner? Are they good with people? How are their time management skills?

If you’re looking for somebody with a certain level of business acumen, you want to drill into what they’ve achieved in their previous roles.

Maybe they don’t fit the role exactly, but you want to look into how they approach their work or a problem they’re faced with. This is when you would ask things such as, ‘Give me an example of where you added value in your last role? What did you do? What impact did it have on your team or the organisation?’

You should be asking every candidate these questions because everyone will have different answers. You’ll uncover something new about all of them.

Consider relaxing your criteria in response to what the candidates are actually bringing to the table. You never know what kind of benefits await.”

3. Change the process, tackle biases

Eliza Kirby, regional director, Hays

Affinity bias often occurs during the interview process. For hiring managers, there’s often a temptation to hire someone they understand; someone who reminds them of themselves or has qualities or traits similar to their own. This, of course, hampers diversity of thought, which is so valuable in an organisation.

Panel interview styles are a great way to remove some of those unconscious biases. When you have a diverse group of people on the panel, you can introduce that diversity of thought into the recruitment process. 

This can lead to much more rigorous decisions, rather than decisions influenced by one individual’s personal biases – be they conscious or unconscious.

Hiring managers should also always make sure they’ve prepared before an interview. Winging it won’t generate the information you want from an interviewee or allow you to make an informed decision.

Block out time to develop a really good list of interview questions in consultation with your recruiter, team or other relevant stakeholders. These questions should cover the technical side of things, but they should also examine the essential people-related skills.

Competency-based questions should uncover a candidate’s skills and experiences. These are your standard questions such as, ‘Tell me about an instance where you were unable to meet a particular deadline, and what did you do about that?’ or ‘Tell me about a time when you went above and beyond for a customer or an internal stakeholder to solve a problem.’

Questions like these give the candidate an opportunity to prove their skills, and for you to get to know them better.

The final thing HR can consider is letting the candidate meet the team. This can provide instant feedback on how they’ll mesh with others in your organisation. Letting the team into the process can be really helpful too; they might notice things you don’t.

Allowing new perspectives into your interview process will help combat biases you may not have even realised you had.

What are some of your best interviewing tips? Share them in the comment section below.


Learn more about conducting successful interviews with AHRI’s short course on effective interviewing and selection skills.


 

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Panayiota Davis
Panayiota Davis
11 months ago

I always suggest to managers that they go in with a strong curiosity mindset to learn as much about the individual as possible and a strong indicator of assessing they have done this is by the types and numbers of questions they asked as well as how much they played an active listening role. A deliberate intention to give each candidate a “fair go” opens up ones thinking to possibilities to consider differences and really explore the value each candidate can bring.

More on HRM
Sorry, no posts matched your criteria.

Ask a recruiter: what are the latest interviewing trends?


Interviewing trends have changed dramatically over the years. So how should we think about hiring in 2021? 

In our next instalment of the ‘Ask a Recruiter’ series, HRM asked three senior recruitment specialists to share their tips for trying to eliminate unconscious bias in the interview process and how to assess for culture add. Here’s what they had to say:

1. Try the plus and minus technique

Peter Murphy, director C3 Talent

It’s interesting to look at interviews in 2021. While they’ve changed dramatically, with many going virtual, the same problems are still cropping up. The biggest mistake HR professionals make in interviews is talking too much. They come out of the interview realising they don’t actually know anything about the candidate because they didn’t stop to listen.

This is where artificial intelligence and video interviews can assist and seem like a perfect alternative, because they can give a fuller picture of the candidate before you meet them. (Editor’s note: proceed with caution. As HRM has written before, these tools can easily introduce biases without you even realising).

Video interviews let a candidate record their answers to prewritten questions. These tools can be really useful in the screening process, especially for graduate or high-volume roles where you might get inundated with applicants. But you need to balance how you use them. I think they should only be seen as a value add, not a replacement for a full interview. 

HR and recruitment is one of the only jobs in the world where the product we’re dealing with has the ability to change its mind. I don’t think you can pick up on the nuances of human behaviour in pre-recorded interviews.

While AI-based tools can introduce biases, it’s even easier for them to crop up in face-to-face interviews. To keep my biases in check, whenever I conduct an interview, I always make a note of my first impression of the candidate. I put a plus at the top of my notes if I immediately like them, and a minus if I’m not impressed.

When I put down a plus, I go harder on drilling in on what their skills are and what they’re actually going to bring to the role, rather than letting myself go easy on them because I like them. If I put down a minus, I try to really like them and get them talking about themselves.

I wouldn’t be able to challenge my impressions through a pre-recorded interview, so it’s important HR has an opportunity to talk to the candidate face to face.

Want to learn about some of the lesser known unconscious biases, or gain a check list of things to do before, during and after a job interview? Click here to see the infographic on your full screen.

2. Interview for culture add, not culture fit

Nicole Gorton, director, Robert Half Australia

Many hiring managers are looking for candidates who mirror the job advertisement exactly, or who held the exact same position at their previous organisation. What you should be asking is, ‘What could someone from a different background bring to the table?’ For example, if you’re looking to hire a client services manager, and a former journalist applies for the role, instead of dismissing them off the bat, you should take the time to see what value they might add.

Hiring on potential is a great way to build your workplace culture. This means considering someone who can bring something new in terms of culture, despite perhaps needing some skills development or additional training. Look for candidates who are a culture add, not a culture fit.

In this case, what you are looking for in the interview is promising behavioural traits such as the ability to distil complex information. You want to drill down into the ‘soft’ or ‘essential skills’ relevant to the role. Do they consider themselves a quick learner? Are they good with people? How are their time management skills?

If you’re looking for somebody with a certain level of business acumen, you want to drill into what they’ve achieved in their previous roles.

Maybe they don’t fit the role exactly, but you want to look into how they approach their work or a problem they’re faced with. This is when you would ask things such as, ‘Give me an example of where you added value in your last role? What did you do? What impact did it have on your team or the organisation?’

You should be asking every candidate these questions because everyone will have different answers. You’ll uncover something new about all of them.

Consider relaxing your criteria in response to what the candidates are actually bringing to the table. You never know what kind of benefits await.”

3. Change the process, tackle biases

Eliza Kirby, regional director, Hays

Affinity bias often occurs during the interview process. For hiring managers, there’s often a temptation to hire someone they understand; someone who reminds them of themselves or has qualities or traits similar to their own. This, of course, hampers diversity of thought, which is so valuable in an organisation.

Panel interview styles are a great way to remove some of those unconscious biases. When you have a diverse group of people on the panel, you can introduce that diversity of thought into the recruitment process. 

This can lead to much more rigorous decisions, rather than decisions influenced by one individual’s personal biases – be they conscious or unconscious.

Hiring managers should also always make sure they’ve prepared before an interview. Winging it won’t generate the information you want from an interviewee or allow you to make an informed decision.

Block out time to develop a really good list of interview questions in consultation with your recruiter, team or other relevant stakeholders. These questions should cover the technical side of things, but they should also examine the essential people-related skills.

Competency-based questions should uncover a candidate’s skills and experiences. These are your standard questions such as, ‘Tell me about an instance where you were unable to meet a particular deadline, and what did you do about that?’ or ‘Tell me about a time when you went above and beyond for a customer or an internal stakeholder to solve a problem.’

Questions like these give the candidate an opportunity to prove their skills, and for you to get to know them better.

The final thing HR can consider is letting the candidate meet the team. This can provide instant feedback on how they’ll mesh with others in your organisation. Letting the team into the process can be really helpful too; they might notice things you don’t.

Allowing new perspectives into your interview process will help combat biases you may not have even realised you had.

What are some of your best interviewing tips? Share them in the comment section below.


Learn more about conducting successful interviews with AHRI’s short course on effective interviewing and selection skills.


 

guest
1 Comment
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
Panayiota Davis
Panayiota Davis
11 months ago

I always suggest to managers that they go in with a strong curiosity mindset to learn as much about the individual as possible and a strong indicator of assessing they have done this is by the types and numbers of questions they asked as well as how much they played an active listening role. A deliberate intention to give each candidate a “fair go” opens up ones thinking to possibilities to consider differences and really explore the value each candidate can bring.

Sorry, no posts matched your criteria.
More on HRM