Job interview assessment was one long awaited dessert I was supposed to make. My last interview post was the main course on the table, dedicated to the best practices of conducting the job interviews.
Conducting job interview is a routine job for the recruiters but the goal to follow the best practices is somewhat neglected, we must admit. You might not understand the mistakes you have made while conducting interviews as the outcomes are long-term. Just one wrong assessment and the organization ends up in hiring incompetent workforce which is just a liability for the company.
Job interview assessment goals
Job interview assessment is a part of the whole evaluation of candidate for the job. The job interview assessment deals with compiling the results of the job interview. Interview assessment methods depend upon the type of job and the level of job. But we have some basic tips to conduct this evaluation and make your hiring practice a winning formula.
Off course, there are many Dos and Don’ts when you are evaluating the candidates but what about knowing just the Don’ts so that we focus on “don’t do this, this is wrong” and the rest will be itself right?
Let’s have a quick look at these Don’ts and while I tell you, check it yourself how much you are into these deadly mistakes thus, spoiling the essence of constructive interviews.
Don’ts of job interview assessment
Using single interviewer
The first step towards a good job interview assessment is to use multiple interviewers in the job interviews. Using single interviewer increases the chances of rater biases as only one person can personally show biasedness towards the candidates. Presence of multiple interviewers decreases this biasedness to a large extent as the hiring decision is based on the opinions of more than one person.
Many people are in favor of unstructured interviews. Personally, I am the kind who wants to wipe out these unstructured interviews from the hiring world. They bring high degree of rater biases in your job interviews. It is of prime importance to assess all candidates on similar factors otherwise this is an intentional source of ruining the hiring quality.
Discussing results openly
Every interviewer in the team evaluates the candidates separately and the results are compiled later. Discussing the results of interview in front of candidates or showing them any signs of acceptance or rejection is a malpractice. This pushes the process towards negative direction as the candidates lose motivation and they are unlikely to perform well. Even discussing them with other members of interview panel highly affects decisions of others.
Absence of job descriptions
If the interviewers are not provided with job descriptions, they make random judgements. Candidates are not assessed on a uniformly defined criteria due to which rater biases are born. JDs guide interviewers how to conduct the interview, which questions to ask, on what basis the employees need to be evaluated and which competencies are required for each job. Hence, such hiring is more relevant and proves to be more successful than the cases where JD is not closely considered.
Rater biases are so far the most harmful for this critical job interview assessment step. These errors arise from the personal judgement of the recruiters. Based on the personal choices, they accept or reject the candidates. The interviewers are often not aware of these cracks. This makes it difficult to investigate and rectify the errors.
According to research statistics, the first 10 seconds of job interview are the most important. These stats are meaningful for both candidates and interviewers. As a candidate, you must impress the interviewer in these 10 seconds. As an interviewer, you must begin the interview in the most effective way. In this regard, my focus is more on interviewer. You are the one to start an interview so try to bring the best out of the candidate in these 10 seconds.
Types of rater biases
The rater biases are usually of the following types:
- Contract bias
- Recency bias
- Confirmation bias
- In-group bias
- Halo/ horn bias
There is a high probability that you have this one worm. You liked the first candidate and you made up your mind to hire him. So, your worm doesn’t let you like the next candidates no matter how impressive they are. Consequently, you didn’t give many competent people their due chance. This is contract biasedness.
As the name suggests, you have the latest/ last inspiring interview fresh on your mind, so you select this last candidate; ignoring all the prior competent candidates.
When the candidate enters the room, you make a quick judgement about him. It could be anything based on his dressing or verbal/ non-verbal communication signals. You start the interview, but you don’t forget that first impression and keep on connecting everything to that first moment. This is how you confirm to your initial judgements and do not evaluate him on the basis of his competencies.
Don’t you think this interview had to be strictly based on job competencies and not the other signals? This bias is a very common bias. Interviewers reject the candidate based on how they entered the room no matter how competent he was. Yes, the entry could be better, but job related employee competencies must be your focus. Statistics show that almost 69% of the recruiters evaluate with confirmation bias.
This bias involves a prejudiced and discriminatory mindset of interviewers for some irrelevant factors like gender, race/ nationality/ ethnicity, religion, color or any specific group of people. You don’t like black people, so you reject them despite their competence; this is prejudice.
It is human nature that we tend to like people who are like us. So, while interviewing the candidates, you drop the introverts if you are yourself an extrovert or you reject an out going person if you are a quiet person. It might be a company strategy to hire similar type of people for better cultural fit. But, in normal circumstances, this produces a bias in the interview process as it takes assessment away from job competencies.
Halo/ horn bias
Halo bias: The interviewer stores a positive image of a candidate in mind and no matter what the performance of candidate is, he selects him/ her because of that one factor. It might be good looks, accent etc. Halo bias can also be due to an in-group factor.
Horn bias: It is the opposite of halo bias. Disliking someone and rejecting him due to that negative image. Confirmation bias is a type of horn bias in job interview evaluation.
If the job interview assessment is not made objectively then, this results in making wrong selection decisions and negligent hiring. You could gather information on the capability of employees, but you didn’t. I have seen organizations stick to their old practices forever no matter how much they are hurting the quality of the hiring process.
Imagine you just interviewed some candidates for a graphic designing job and the rater biases jumped in. You like the candidate because he has an American English accent and you hire him. But you don’t assess him for the job-based competencies. So, when he joins the job, his performance reveals that he lacks the job knowledge. This renders the entire hiring process null. Your company costs, time and other resources go into trash. This was the liability which as an interviewer you had on your shoulders and you failed. Now, the company needs to hire again: spend more for advertising, testing, interviewing and on-boarding. Above all, you wasted the time of the company.
Do you know every organization should experiment with their hiring practices in simulation and then ultimately pick the best ones? These simulation techniques involve conducting the interview activity called mock interviews, so they immediately bring any job interview assessment errors to surface which otherwise might not be visible.
Therefore, these simulation techniques do not only train the interviewers but also highlight the errors out of the interview process and come up with the best practices we can follow.
Documentation for job interview assessment
Job Interview Assessment Form
The documentation for job interview assessment depends upon the type of job. An assessment form is designed according to the job description and the job specific competencies. So, job interview assessment form for managerial position will be different from the one for a junior position. Two managers of different departments are evaluated based on separate criteria, so HR needs to design multiple evaluation forms.
A job interview assessment form for managerial positions covers more leadership competencies than other jobs. A technical job requires more technical competencies while jobs for marketing/ sales or customer service require more outgoing and interpersonal/ customer skills.
(To get a copy of this form without our watermark, you can send an email on our contact us form)
Importance of transparent job interview assessment
Conducting interviews might be a routine job for you but I consider it is a new challenge each time. Whether you understand or not, it is a big responsibility to hire for the company. When you interview a candidate, you determine the future and direction of your company. Wrong job interview assessment leads to hiring a wrong person for doing the job. Once you select the right people, the whole process to success becomes too easy. And these competency-based job interview assessments are so amazing. They produce 95% reliable results with higher employee retention. Implement and multiply your success.