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What’s Wrong With Interviews? The Top 50 Most Common Interview Problems

by Jan 30, 2012, 5:35 am ET

art by Ryan YoungWhat’s wrong with corporate job interviews? Pretty much everything.

Interviews are the second most used and “flawed” tool in HR (right after performance appraisals). They are used and relied on around the world for hiring, transfers, promotions, and for selecting leaders. After studying and researching interviews for over 40 years, I find it laughable when people think they can become interview experts simply by conducting a few of them.

Despite their many flaws, the purpose of this article is not to tell you to stop using interviews. Instead, the goal is to make you aware of the things that can negatively impact the results of an interview. My premise is that if you encounter these problems and you understand their causes, you can take steps to avoid or minimize them.

A Complete List of the Top 50 Most Common Interview Problems (split into five categories)

A) The 15 most critical problems that can occur with interviews

  1. Some things should not be measured in an interview – few start an interview with a list of the things they want to assess. Many things just can’t be measured accurately during an interview including: many technical skills, team skills, intelligence, attitude, and physical skills. Giving them a work sample or test is often superior.
  2. Using historical information to predict the future — interviews cover what happened in the past. Unfortunately, “the way you did something yesterday” simply wouldn’t work in today’s “new normal.”
  3. Interview questions are not directly related to the needed skills – most questions and “solve-this-problem” scenarios are developed independently and are not tied to a specific “required” skill or knowledge. There is no script or plan to ensure the right things are covered so that interviewers don’t just make up whimsical questions.
  4. Inconsistent questions – there is no interview question script prepared for most interviews, so that the same questions are not asked of each candidate, which causes serious comparison and reliability issues.
  5. No weights – interview questions are frequently not “weighted” or prioritized, so minor questions receive the same weight in the final rating as the most important ones.
  6. No scoring sheet — there is no scoring sheet to ensure that interviewees are rated consistently on the same factors. Many final decisions are made based solely on memory. Scoring sheets forces the interviewers to make their decision based solely on the factors on the scoring sheet.
  7. No agreement on good answers — almost universally, interviewers asked questions without first determining what is a weak, good, and great answer. As a result, the exact same answer will get different “scores” from different interviewers.
  8. Interviews are inherently misleading – the basic foundation of the interview is based on the premise that during the interview, candidates are acting normally and are telling the truth. This is unlikely because most candidates are scared to death before, during, and after interviews.  The interview situation is by definition “unreal” and words often should not be taken as proof. It is not “the job” and therefore what happens during the interview might not be representative of what one would actually do on the job. The goals of many interviews are unfortunately focused on finding faults in the candidates, as opposed to finding their positive aspects.
  9. Saying what they want to hear — interviewees frequently provide the answers that they believe that the interviewer wants to hear, rather than the most accurate answer. Interviewees frequently lie or omit key facts; unfortunately, interviewers do the same.
  10. Non-job related factors influence decisions – numerous subjective factors like body language, accent, height, handshake, dress, and coming late may distract from a focus on the answers provided. Because of stereotypes, demographic factors (race, sex, age, national origin) may also impact the results.
  11. Practice makes perfect – preparation changes interview results. So if you think you are getting spontaneous answers, be aware of the thousands of Internet articles, sample questions, and videos that can super-prepare candidates for anything. Individuals who have not been in a job search for a long time might be rusty in their interview skills. While unemployed candidates that have recently gone through numerous interviews could benefit from their extensive practice and do better.
  12. Your specific interview questions may be known in advance — in addition to generic questions, with the use of glassdoor.com, be aware that whatever specific questions your firm has asked in the past (and their answers) are likely to be posted.
  13. Behavioral interviews have inherent weaknesses — behavior interviews rely 100% on candidate-provided (and possibly exaggerated) descriptions of how they handled a problem in the past. Also be aware that they may have acted that way because of cultural rules and constraints that would be completely different today, at your firm. Extrapolating forward on how they would act six months from now, even though they have long since changed, and in your unique culture/environment can be misleading. Asking candidates to describe how they “handled” a certain situation has some serious inherent problems. First: what the candidate is describing to you may have happened, but you can’t actually know the extent of their contribution to the described action. Second: if their verbal descriptions or their delivery happens to be clumsy, their accomplishments will likely be underrated (even though they actually did what they described). And third, in our current fast-changing world, you might not even want them to act the same way.
  14. Lack of future view — most interviews and all behavioral interviews focus on the past but whoever is hired will be working in the present/future. Most interviewers fail to ask candidates to forecast the future and to provide an outline of the plans that they will use to identify and solve upcoming problems.
  15. Not hiring for “this” and “the next job” — hiring managers can be shortsighted. They frequently interview and hire based 100% on their own short-term needs. Companies should hire individuals for both “this” and a future job but most interview questions are not designed to assess future competencies that will be needed in their next jobin the company.

B) Problems with the interviewer

  1. The interviewer – the sex, age, and experience of the interviewer dramatically impacts their assessment of any candidate. If the person they are interviewing is different than them, the result will also be different. All too often, interviewers act like they are junior psychologists and may make snap but inaccurate judgments about candidates.
  2. Bias and prejudice — some interviewers have biases or make stereotypes that eliminate individuals for nonbusiness reasons.
  3. Interviewers are not trained – almost everyone assumes that interviews are easy and don’t require training. Managers only receive cursory training and don’t know the pitfalls that can lead to bad interviewing and hiring results. Because “mystery shoppers” are not used, HR has no direct way of knowing what might be happening during an individual manager’s interviews.
  4. The interviewer has arbitrary knockout factors – many interviewers seem to arbitrarily make up subjective “knockout factors,” which prematurely and often unfairly screen out qualified candidates. Many of these knockout factors are based on personal prejudices.
  5. Interviewer fatigue — after many interviews in a row, the interviewer is tired and their judgment weakens.

C) Common interview process errors –the actual design of the interview process can cause many problems.

  1. No structure — the less structure, the less reliable are the results. Using the same structure around the globe may be a problem because local cultures and laws vary.
  2. The timing – the time of day that the interview was held has an impact upon its results because the energy level of interviewers and interviewees changes. Someone that has gone through five back-to-back interviews will perform differently than someone who had a break. And because multiple candidates are involved at different times of the day or on different days, it makes accurately comparing interview results that occurred at different times or days difficult.
  3. The length of interviews varies — interviews are often very short, making realistic assessment difficult. And due to time and business pressures, managers often eagerly make snap, first-impression decisions, which can be inaccurate. Comparing candidates who had interviews of significantly different lengths is also difficult.
  4. The order of the interview — If you are the first among all candidates in the interview process, you’re less likely to be hired then if you are the last candidate. Unfortunately, where you appear in the order of interviews impacts your odds of success.
  5. Consistent location – even the place where the interview is held (if it is not consistent for all candidates) can influence the candidate’s assessment (i.e. lunch interviews produce different results than conference room interviews).
  6. Interviews are held in person — This makes them expensive, because of the use of an interviewer’s time. Also requiring an in-person interview means that many working people simply won’t show up. Advances in technology now make it possible to hold inexpensive live video interviews over the Internet. Live video interviews and telephone preliminary interviews can save both travel costs and candidate time without impacting quality.
  7. Travel fatigue — often interviewees are flown in for the interview the night before and jet lag makes them underperform. Interviewers can suffer the same issues.
  8. Selling is limited – not enough time is spent during the interview selling the candidate, so those with multiple choices might not accept.
  9. Skills demonstrated in the interview are not required for this job – interview scores tend to vary based on the candidate’s interpersonal and communication skills, but this particular job might not require even average interpersonal skills. Thus some jobs (i.e. receptionist, salesperson, and recruiter) lend themselves to being assessed through interviews, while for some other jobs (like programmers, artists, and meter readers), interviews may be horrible predictors of the candidate’s on-the-job success because they work alone.
  10. Panel interviews – panel or group interviews are often intimidating because of the number of people in the room hurling question after question at the single interviewee. Often an assumption is made that panel interviews reduce the chance of bias or prejudice, but that is not automatically true if the team leader is powerful and successfully encourages others to share their bias. Candidates can also become frustrated when “the wrong person” asks a question (for example, when an HR person asks a technical question and a technical manager asked a question that should have been asked by HR).

D) Psychological issues and problems –if you study the research on interviews, you will find that there are many psychology-related issues.

  1. Looking for reasons to reject — often interviewers spend almost all of the time trying to find a reason to reject the candidate, and as a result, they miss the candidate’s positive aspects. In some cases, negative responses are given twice the weight, so a candidate can be mentally rejected after a single error.
  2. Halo Effect issues — often the evaluator is overly impressed by one or more personal characteristics (i.e. great looks). And they mistakenly assume that everything about the candidate is positive because of that single exemplary factor.
  3. Recency comparison (the contrast effect) – if an interviewer has several bad interviews in a row, the next person who performs much better may be inaccurately rated as outstanding, simply because they are so much better than the recent poor performers. The reverse effect is also possible.
  4. Personalities come across differently — shy, nervous, and slow people can be assessed poorly even though the job does not require speaking up or boldness.
  5. Fooled by enthusiasm — some interviewers are so smitten with candidate enthusiasm and passion that they fail to accurately assess other important job requirements.
  6. “Fit” assessment — many managers use interviews to measure an individual’s fit with the team, job, or the corporate culture.  Unfortunately, there is little evidence that untrained managers can accurately assess “fit” in 60 minutes. In addition, if innovation is being sought, individuals who do not “fit” may instead be the correct hire. Often candidates who are “just like me” (the interviewer) are automatically given higher ratings even though the job does not require someone “just like you.”
  7. One-way conversation – unfortunately, many interviewers spend more time talking then listening during interviews.  Most interviewers don’t leave equal time for the candidate to ask questions and to present information that they want to present, which can frustrate them, and then limited information is used to make the decision.
  8. “Too perfect” performance — occasionally interviewees with a lot of experience interviewing (often from HR) get extremely high ratings but they are rejected because they are “too perfect” and the evaluator assumes that something is wrong (cheating).

E) Legal issues

  1. No accuracy check – the validity or the predictive ability of interviews are not checked by later on comparing whether those who received high interview scores turn out to be top on-the-job performers and vice versa. Interviews are a test, according to the EEOC, but most firms do not formally validate interviews or individual questions. The reliability of interviews is also not assessed.
  2. Illegal questions – it’s not unusual for illegal questions to “pop out.”  It’s also possible for candidates to inadvertently volunteer illegal information.
  3. No written record – because most interviews are conducted without being taped or even with a written record, there is little evidence (should legal or EEOC issues arise) as to what actually occurred or didn’t occur during interviews. When notes are taken, the unfettered handwritten notes taken by interviewers can be embarrassing should they see the light of day in a court proceeding.
  4. Language, cultural, and disability issues — interviewees who normally speak a different language may be slower and may provide less precise answers merely because of language or cultural issues. Disabilities that affect speaking may impact scores, even though accommodation may be required and speaking is not a major job requirement.
  5. Icebreaker issues — the interviewer may offer an icebreaker story or joke that may be inappropriate or illegal. It may negatively impact the responses from the interviewee.

F) Candidate-experience related issues – most candidates either hate of fear them. Further angering or frustrating candidates may cause you to lose top candidates, hurt your employer brand, or even harm product sales.

  1. Candidates are forced to lie to their boss — because most interviews are held during work hours, currently employed candidates coming to an interview are essentially forced to lie to their current boss as to why they are away from their current job.  This can cause them to prematurely drop out of the hiring process.
  2. Uncertainty and being kept in the dark — abuse of candidates occurs when managers keep them in the dark about the interview process and what is expected during it. They are not told what will occur during the interview and what skills will be assessed. In addition, they are not told who will be there during the interview, the role of each interviewer, and who will make the final decision. Failing to educate the candidate may cause them to under-prepare in key areas. Candidates also get frustrated when they are left in the dark and not given feedback about where they stand after an individual interview or after the process is complete.
  3. Candidates are given no input — the interview process and whom they will interview with is determined by the organization. However, top candidates should be asked for their input, who they need to talk to, and what information they need in order to make their decision. Because without this information, they may drop out or reject your offer.
  4. The number of interviews for each job — “death by interview,” which is where an excessive number of interviews over many days wears out a candidate. There is also death by repetition, when candidates during multiple interviewers get frustrated when they are asked the same questions over and over because interviews by different managers are not coordinated.
  5. Scheduling difficulties prolong the process — when multiple candidates are brought in for interviews, the time that it takes to schedule all of these interviews almost always stretches out the hiring process to the point where most top candidates will be lost because of the long time delay.
  6. Managers act inappropriately during interviews – sometimes interviewers act inappropriately by taking phone calls during interviews, canceling and rescheduling interviews, appearing disorganized, or even asking illegal or silly questions. Such behavior is disrespectful but it may also scare away the top candidates. Candidates often say they rejected an offer because of the way that they were treated during the interview process.
  7. Ghost interviews may frustrate — in order to meet legal requirements, external interviews are often held even though an internal candidate is already preselected. This wastes candidate time and adds to frustration.

In my experience, most interviewers have a cavalier attitude toward interviewing. That is partly because they will never know if a major mistake was made and a top candidate was never hired. However, if you 1) study and fully understand the potential problems; and 2) have some empathy for what the candidates are going through and how much they will suffer when rejected, the quality of interviews will automatically increase.

This article is provided for informational purposes only and is not intended to offer specific legal advice. You should consult your legal counsel regarding any threatened or pending litigation.

  • http://www.ScientificSelection.com Dr. Wendell Williams, MBA, Ph.D

    Just my two-cents worth, but this reminds me of the old Paul Simon song, “50 Ways to Leave Your Lover”. Poor interview accuracy should come as no surprise to a profession that often complains about staffing its own business and emphasizes learning on the job.

    Interview solutions were first recommended in the late 1940′s. Let me repeat..better interview practices were recommended over 60 years ago! That’s probably before many readers were even born. Today we refer to them as behavioral event interviews (BEI). BEI includes thoroughly understanding job competencies, thoroughly training interviewers, using highly structured questions covering the whole job domain, multiple interviewers, and so forth. BEI is MORE than a list of questions, just search some of the ERE articles I have written in the last eleven years to learn more.

    You don’t need to know 50 ways to improve interview accuracy. You only need one…a rock-solid BEI program.

  • Suzanne Sears

    Absolutely Perfect!……..Amazed you could get all of these points into one article!

    Interviewing should be a College level Diploma/Degree program just like all other HR professions!

    Cant pick a favourite point I agree with because I agree with everyone of them!

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  • Keith Halperin

    Thanks, Dr. Sullivan.

    I. I tell hiring managers that they and the interviewers need to firmly establish just two things in an interview:
    1) Can the candidate competently do what we need them to do?
    2) Can I work comfortably with this candidate for an extended period of time?
    If you can’t say “yes” to both: don’t hire them.

    II. Furthermore, you should be able to establish this typically within 1-2 rounds of interviews, each lasting no more than about 2-3 hours, with up to 3-4 people in each round.

    III. Finally, you should be able to hire 1:3-1:5 of the people you interview.

    There are exceptions to the above (as there are with most things), but by and large if a company is not doing these, there is a problem in the hiring process that the recruiter needs to address.
    …………………………………………………..

    There are many companies that say they have to perform many more, larger, or longer interviews to effectively hire their employees. I leave it to you to show me external, unbiased studies which show that more, larger, or longer interviews provide proportionately better results for the vast majority of hires to justify the added time, expense, and negative effects on candidates and employees to justify their use.

    Cheers,

    Keith “Recruiting Ain’t Rocket Science” Halperin

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  • Nasir zuberi

    Excellent compilation. Thanks a lot.
    I would only add that Mannerism on part of hiring manager also matters a lot. I just experienced that the hiring manager didn’t had the CV in front of him & asked the candidate to provide a copy, as a result, he had not even taken a look at CV at all.
    I believe this is abusive as either he/she wants to hire or not, but certain respect to the candidate must be given as he/she has come for the interview with certain hope & expectation. and it reflects bad on organization as well.

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  • Karen Cabana

    Sometimes, the interviewers just get too personal.

  • Amie Fallon

    At my company, we find that psychometric and cognitive testing takes most of the pressure off of the interviewing process. We take in 1000′s of applications/resumes a year, yet I only read 5 to 6 per job posting as anyone we wouldn’t want to hire has already been filtered out. The interview process then becomes a tool to identify if there is a cultural fit with our company. We happen to use Cream Metrics now, which is extremely effective, but we used Wonderlic before with decent results.

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  • Keith Halperin

    Hi Amie,

    It sounds as if you’re interviewing about the right number/hire. At what point in the interview process do the applicants take the tests?

  • Amie Fallon

    Hello Keith,

    We test every single person that applies for whatever job we have posted. Sometimes its around 100 people, but depending on the job, it can shoot up to 200-250. The test works better the more applicants there are. From what I’ve been told, a minimum of 40 applicants will garner at least one diamond in the rough, so to speak. The test filters out the “undesirables” before we even look at a resume/application. So really, my job is to interview the people that are smart and would more than likely fit in whatever role we need them to. The amount of time saved is stunning, to be honest (enough time to be posting on blogs ;)

  • http://www.ScientificSelection.com Dr. Wendell Williams, MBA, Ph.D

    Hello Amie…just a question…how did you set the cut off scores for each of the tests you use?

  • Amie Fallon

    Hello Dr. Williams,

    It really depends. The Cream Metrics results use a grading system of 1-100 (100 being the best). When we have say, 100 candidates taking the test, there is almost always 5-10 people with a score of 90 or above. 90 isn’t a hard cutoff point, but it helps us save a lot of time. Having said that, I’ve hired someone with a score of 82 because there were certain traits I found valuable (it was a sales position and we wanted someone rather extraverted and creative).

    Wonderlic used a more “everyone is good” kind of paradigm which really didn’t separate the wheat from the chaff, although it helped a little.

  • Keith Halperin

    Thanks, Amie. So the test is the first thing an applicant does. i.e. someone signs up to take the test, and if they pass it, they’d submit a resume/application? If so, why would a candidate take a test if they hadn’t already been considered for a position? Could you elaborate/explain more, please?

    Cheers,
    Keith

  • http://www.ScientificSelection.com Dr. Wendell Williams, MBA, Ph.D

    I would really worry about the Cream approach. Sure, their test seems like a good idea on the face, but mental alertness tests (e.g., logic, numerical, verbal, abstract thinking, and so forth) have a long history of discriminating against minorities. That is problem one.

    Problem two is the Cream report seems to be rank-ordering candidates for you by assuming some profiles will be more productive than others…have they conducted job analyses and validation studies proving their opinions accurately predict performance in your specific jobs?

    I ask these questions because some day a hostile candidate will complain to the EEOC, OFCCP, or other state agency and your company will be asked to show studies PROVING all your hiring tests (and cut points) are based on “job requirements” and “business necessity” (even the personality items).

    If you cannot produce the hard data they request, they will, on the face of the evidence, assume your organization is guilty of intentional job discrimination…and, win lose or draw, that will get expensive. Remember,the test user, not the vendor, is always responsible for test use.

    Suggest you turn a deaf ear on vendor claims, read up on the 1978 Uniform Guidelines, do some formal job analyses, and conduct professional validation studies on each job and test. It could save you a bundle.

  • Amie Fallon

    Keith, Some companies may differ, but we accept the resume and testing in one step, meaning an applicant will apply through our system and then be taken directly through to the test. Once completed, we receive the results and if those results are to our liking, we then look at their resume. Again, this leads to around 5 or 6 qualified applicants to bring in for an interview.

    @Dr Williams, what you are discussing is right on, however we do research before any test is authorized by our company. Let’s face it, anyone can try to sue for any reason, but no prima facie evidence has made its way to the courts regarding our hiring methods or, as far as we could find, anyone using the Cream test.

    According to the rules set forth by the EEOC, the test we use follows their very strict guidelines. For example, the test measures Emotional Intelligence (EQ) instead of IQ as IQ tests are continually challenged in the courts. This is not a pass/fail test either as those find themselves in murky waters as well. The EEOC prefers a comparative test, which Cream is. As the Supreme Court and Eight Circuit almost universally defer to the EEOC guidelines, we feel we have a perfectly reasonable defense.

  • http://www.ScientificSelection.com Dr. Wendell Williams, MBA, Ph.D

    If you don’t mind, since this is a public forum, I would like to ask a few more clarification questions.

    Everything I have read and studied indicates the EEOC and OFCCP are becoming increasingly interested in criterion-based studies linking test scores to job performance (i.e., to show the test is working as claimed). Criterion validation requires XYZ job to be broken down into measurable performance pieces which are rated and statistically compared to test scores. Do you know if Cream does this?

    Second, EQ comes in two general flavors, one includes a reasoning component and one is a self-description. Do you know which one Cream uses? If a client picks and chooses people based on scores from a Cream report, is this not a test?

    Finally, I have never read anything stating the EEOC prefers one kind of test over another (e.g., except they did not like construct-related tests because they are hard to validate). As far as I know, the 1978 DOL Guidelines, suggest employers only use tests that are based on job requirements and business necessity (a good thing for everyone). Can you point me to a reference where the EEOC states they prefer employers use comparative tests?

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  • Keith Halperin

    Thanks, Amie. I wonder, though: why would candidates be willing to take a lengthy test up-front without any indication of interest on the company’s part? I’ve heard about a study which shows a marked decline in application rates which take more than about 2 minutes to complete.
    Please advise.

    Keith

  • http://www.ScientificSelection.com Dr. Wendell Williams, MBA, Ph.D

    Hi Keith,

    I looked up data from the Cream website. The personality portion is based on a single research paper (Hirsh, B.J . & Peterson, J.B, Predicting creativity and academic success with a “Fake-Proof” measure of the Big Five, Journal of Research in Personality, Vol. 42, 5, October 2008, PP 1323-1333. If you notice, this investigation addressed students, GPA, and creativity…not job performance.

    I was not able to verify the professional credentials of any principal other than Neil MacGregor who is a prolific re-packager of over 90% of the citations on the website. Mr. MacGregor’s Linked-in Profile identifies him as being Cream’s Web Director, but does not mention any memberships in professional test associations nor graduate degrees in testing and assessment. Rather it indicates he has a BA in Philosophy and works with learning disabled students.
    I took a few hours to look behind the curtain and found the test is a combination of a Big Five generic personality test and a cognitive ability test. As I mentioned earlier, virtually all cognitive ability tests … intelligence tests by another name… have a long history of job discrimination. A job analysis and validation study is highly recommended here. Second, the B5 test design required subjects to pick between most-like-me/least-like-me statements. It fake resistant, but NOT fake-proof. Most/least designs mean each time one item is chosen another must be rejected. Fake-good subjects, for example, sacrificed scores in Agreeableness in exchange for Emotional Stability and Conscientiousness. In the final discussion, the authors suggest this approach “might not” improve the ability to predict job performance on an individual basis.

    You can do the math.

  • http://www.workpersonalities.com Steve Green

    It is well known that interviews are statistically not that reliable but how many employers would actually recruit someone without some form of interview before hand? Not many I would venture. However, this would not necessarily be a problem if recruiters blended interviews with one or two other forms of selection. For example, a recruitment process that incorporated a psychometric test (personality) with a work based test with an interview would probably actually be a very reliable way of selecting the best candidates for a job. Nowadays, this would not even be that expensive so I am amazed that so many employers still rely on an interview alone. Do they not realise that the costs of recruiting the wrong person far outweight the costs of paying for psychometric tests or similar.

    Steve Green
    http://www.workpersonalities.com

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  • http://employmentworld-chris.blogspot.com/ Chris Parker

    I loved your article on what is wrong with interviews. I am going to go back and read it again, the only thing I did not see or that I think is a problem with interviews is when the interviewer knows they are hiring an internal candidate but goes through the process just to make it seem official.

    Thanks again for a great article

  • Keith Halperin

    @ Dr. Williams: Thanks, it looks like you showed us “the man behind the curtain”.

    @ Steve; Your suggestion sounds very sensible. At the same time, ISTM that a new solution needs to be effective, easy/intuitive to use, and affordable to overcome institutional and personal resistance/inertia.

    Happy Friday,

    Keith

  • http://www.ImpalConsulting.com Dominic Fruges

    Thank you Dr. Sullivan for this comprehensive article that hits the mark on so many key points.

    I especially love your comment in the Process Errors — # 6 Interviews are held in person — encouraging the use of the Internet and live video for interviewing. I strongly agree and believe that both recruiters and companies need to consider economic factors for the applicant. I live in the North Jersey region where a trip into NYC can cost upwards of $75 for a one day trip (non-discounted). I also know there are some recruiting firms who want an in-person interview simply for the recruiter to “earn a credit” for the applicant’s account. I recently refused to travel about 1.25 hours to one of those firms at the cost of about $60 in gas. I invite you to read my blog post from Nov. 28, 2011 “Company Recruiting: Missing Out By Not Using Skype”

    http://impalbizbuzz.wordpress.com/

    I was tracking the conversation from Amie Fallon and Keith Halperin regarding the testing/screening. Thank you Dr. Sullivan for debunking Cream Metrics and that entire “screening” process. Here is the bottom line — many people, including me, simply do not test well on those tests. I have been fighting those tests for years as an inaccurate picture of an applicant. In the past few months I was asked by three companies to submit to tests. Only in one case did I get to speak to the HR recruiter before the test. That company’s test was the most bizarre test I have ever seen including multiple timed sections. One section was for “mechanical applitude” and the entire test took 2.25 hours to complete. This was for a software sales position! The other two tests were part of the job application process and I had no opportunity to talk to a human voice.

    I think people in transition are looking for human interaction and at least a chance to have their skills get past a mechanical HR scanner.

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  • https://www.tazio.co.uk/ Matthew Evans

    Valid points made there.

    A lot of these problems can be solved adapting to online video interviews, maybe not ‘live’ but recorded.

    Adapting to this process significantly reduces time and cost during the recruitment.

    Online video interviewing firstly reduces the number of applications from casual job seekers and enables recruiters to identify suitable candidates based on more than just their CV’s.

    The ability to see all applicants on one page, reduces time spent ‘scanning’ CV’s to meet desired criteria.

    With online video interviewing you can shortlist ideal candidates, not only spending less time scheduling but also improving the quality of candidates that make it to final stage interviews.

    Recruiters can save an unlimited amount of pre-recorded text, audio or video based questions for the online interview so less time is spent repeating questions in first stage interviews, and each candidate is asked the same question which is relevant to the job role.

    Employers can share and review applicants’ recorded interviews with colleagues. Again not only saving time on colleagues ‘sitting in’ on interviews but also improving the standard of all new hires.

    Research proves that candidates also prefer this method of job application and companies with a large turnover of staff are already adapting to this new process, so it is only a matter of time that this change is seen across all aspects of recruitment.

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  • W J

    In short: When you have both two sides deliberately and knowingly gaming up for a blind date process to gain each others’ acceptance, don’t expect honest and meaningful answers to come out of it.

  • OneManITDept

    It never ceases to amaze me that the biggest issue I have ever seen as far as bad interviews etc is the fact that most of the recruiters…whether they are internal or external and most of the hiring managers anymore have no idea what is entailed in getting the job done correctly, timely and legally. So, rarely do the correct candidates even get to an interview much less a qualified person get hired.

    It is incredibly easy to hire the correct person with the correct skills, experience and education. BUT! You have to know what is required in skills, experience and education and not just what you scraped off a website somewhere else.

    HR should be verifying the person can actually work for the company and then pass the resume onto the hiring manager. There should not be external recruiters which are a joke. If your hiring manager does not know what to look for you can better your company by eliminating that person right there.

    I have no idea how many resumes I see fly across my desk from recruiters that I KNOW have no idea what they are looking at and have seen them toss perfectly good candidates in the trash because the recruiter did not understand the job itself.

    America does not have a Technology Worker Shortage, we have an Idiot Recruiter Problem and a Low Skill Hiring Manager Problem.

  • Daniel Kulkarni

    These job interviews are getting ridiculous. I was called to have an interview scheduled but was rejected for not showing the utmost excitement in the opportunity to interview for entry level retail. I guess I should have taken an acting class. By rewarding fakeness and harshly punishing honesty, you’re encouraging dishonesty. When you expect a candidate to light up the room, you’re telling shy interviewees they cannot be themselves if they want to be hired. What ends up happening is that they hire the best liar.