Conducting Interviews – Different Approaches

A company’s interview style/structure can be an accurate indicator of its personality and values. Interview styles range from the “I-go-with-my-instincts” interview consisting of a single candidate meeting to a gruelling multi-step step interview (“If you survive the interview process, you’re hired.”).

Here are our thoughts about different interview approaches and what they tell us about a company:

Conducting a single-step interview can mean a couple of things:

  • Worst case, the employer wants to get the candidate off the street before his competitors snag an interview.
  • Best case, the employer is so good at assessing candidates’ suitability that conducting any more than one interview is wasting everyone’s time.

How about the two-step interview or the three-step interview?

  • Worst case, the first interviewer has already has made his/her decision. The purpose of this interview is intended to make the second interviewer feel like he/she has a say (not really though).
  • Best case, the two key stakeholders assess a candidate from two unique perspectives and gather to make a decision.

Four-step, Five-step, Six-Step and…Yes, Even Seven-Step Interviews

These interviews can include (alone or in combination) dinner or lunch with alcohol, skills testing, and psychometric assessments. Let’s look at each of these individually.

Alcohol. It’s not advisable to get the candidate tipsy to hear what he really thinks about your company. Instead, if socialising with clients and colleagues is an important part of the role, see how the candidate handles himself.

Skills Test. Skills tests should not be so difficult and specific to your company that only five percent of those test takers can succeed – particularly if your organization is not considered a top five percent company to work for. Well-constructed skills tests assess the general aptitude that is needed to be successful in the position.

Psychometric Assessment.  Don’t be the organization that prides itself on the fact that its employees and contractors think in lockstep. Instead, be open to different thinkers with perspectives that are needed for the specific role and future direction of the company.

Now it is time to deliver the final message to candidates – successful or not! We will explore this critical phase of the process in future discussions