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Asking All the Right Questions in an Interview

So, you have been interviewing numerous candidates over the last few days. You don’t really know what to ask them and it’s easy for them to figure out what you want to hear and respond accordingly. As a result, you’re not getting an accurate indication of their abilities and can only really judge them on how well they hold a conversation. Now comes the time when you need to compare the results of your interviews. Somehow, half of the first interview was spent talking about holiday plans. The second interviewee delivered what seemed to be a well-rehearsed monologue, while the third interview was spent largely discussing details of the job role. With each interview going so differently, how can you compare results?

The short answer is, you can’t. You need a solid structure in your interviews to be able to compare them consistently and objectively. That’s the basis of the concept behind structured interviews.

Using a structured interviewing method means that each candidate gets asked all the same questions and are assessed on the same abilities. This allows you to judge each candidate on the same scale, making it far easier to compare their abilities and work out who is best for the job.

Research has found that using standardised, structured formulas throughout the interview process heeds more accurate results than less formal interview methods. This is because the questions presented are clear and concise, with little room for ambiguity or confusion. Structured questions prompt the candidate to talk more in-depth about their abilities and experiences, leading to a fuller understanding of their strengths and weaknesses.

On top of this, questions are formulated according to competencies which have been shown to predict work performance. By evaluating candidates under a set of key competencies, you can get a better idea of how they might perform on the job and if they really are capable of success in the workplace. Key cognitive competencies that should be assessed are Verbal, Numerical and Logical Ability, while critical behavioural tendencies include: Drive for Results, Social Drive, Teamwork, Business Acumen, Confidence and Optimism, and Influencing and Motivating.

Using our Graduate Interview Guide will help remove subjectivity from the interview process by following structured, competency-based screening, allowing you to accurately assess a candidate’s ability. Not only will your company benefit from hiring the best of the best, but life will be made a lot easier for you too!

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