Monday, September 05, 2011

Job Interviews Should Be Used To Sell The Job, Not Judge The Candidate

I am researching talent acquisition topics these days and read about the research of Dr. Allen Huffcutt via the book Sway: The Irresistible Pull of Irrational Behavior. It turns out job interviews are quite useless. The best way to judge a candidate is to find out what they have done in the past and how they behaved in the past.

This makes a lot of sense. I never understood what vague questions such as "What is your greatest strength?" or "What is your big weakness?" revealed anything about a person. Every candidate has a canned answer for these questions which revealed close to nothing about him or her.

Also, most managers are not trained on how to interview a candidate.So why do we place such a big emphasis on such phony questions. Would it not be time well spent if we explore the past of a person and ask them to provide factual answers about their past experience and behavior.

An even better way to hire a person would be to rely on the opinion of someone who already knows the person and to examine the past work of the candidate. Huffcutt argues that job interviews should be used to sell the job to the chosen candidate, not to judge the candidate. It makes a lot of sense.

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