Is a job interview the best way to find a candidate?

Is a job interview the best way to find a candidate?

Sifting through CVs and selecting the best potential to interview is standard procedure when recruiting for a role. The procedure might be as simple as a casual discussion with the manager, or it could be a more detailed process involving numerous interviews.

One of these interview trends that employers use is to throw seemingly unrelated questions. For example, ‘if you were to identify yourself as a Microsoft Office programme, which one would you be?’ or ‘explain a reason why we shouldn’t hire you’. These questions are designed to test how fast a candidate can think on their feet and how they’d deal with the pressure of being on the spot.

The problem with these styles of questions is that they don’t accurately test a candidates ability to perform the job.

“The theory is that people who can handle stress in an interview can handle stress on the job. The problem is, the theory is wrong. There is no evidence that the ability to deal with a stressful interview situation is an accurate predictor of the ability to deal with job stress.” – Interview Edge

There is some belief that the traditional interview process is simply not effective. A survey conducted by Leadership IQ showed that ‘46 per cent of all new hires fail within 18 months.’

Here are some alternative practices employers have put in place to try and create better recruitment methods.

Trial Shifts & Practical Tests 

Having an informal interview or just a ‘chat’ with the general manager, then being put for a trial shift is a great way to test a person’s practical ability on the job. It’s most common in hospitality industries such as bar work and waitressing – but also making its way into other sectors.

Additionally, some individuals struggle answering questions on the spot and verbally selling themselves – but would do well on a math or computer competency test. Having a practical assessment in place is a great method to ensure talented candidates aren’t overlooked due to interview nerves.

Group Hire

Some businesses take a different approach, allowing coworkers to determine if someone should be hired rather than the recruiting manager. This involves getting the candidate to come in for a trial day and by the end it is up to the candidate’s potential future colleagues to anonymously vote as to whether the candidate is suitable. Of course – the candidate is not aware that they are being judged. The benefit of this method is that sometimes the employers make better judgement than HR or management. They are the ones who know exactly what requirements it takes to do their job daily and what sort of person would fit into the company dynamics.

Virtual Reality

Using virtual reality as part of online application forms are becoming more popular. Lloyds Bank has included technology into their recruiting process; they utilise VR to mimic scenarios that occur regularly in a bank and assess the candidates’ answers. The employer uses the results to decide whether to proceed to interviews. The benefit of this method is that the candidate can see the working environment. Sometimes written job descriptions can be vague and misinterpreted, leading to many candidates applying for roles they are not suited for or may not even desire.


This stands for ‘Bring your own team’ – An experimental hiring process built to ensure that a company is team-oriented. The idea is to recruit small talented teams of 3-5 individuals who are already well connected.

‘Stripe’ – a mobile phones payment company based in San Francisco was the first to trial this, stating that

 “The basic notion that hiring should be oriented around individuals rather than teams is a surprising one when you think about it”

“We’re trying to construct teams, yet we’re only looking at individuals. That’s an odd mismatch.”

It has since been reported that the trial did not work and has been discontinued. They concluded it had failed due to many of the applicants still applying as individuals, and the logistics of coordinating multiple career moves at once was more complicated than originally planned.

It does, however, encourage other employers to rethink the traditional recruitment process. This could possibly bring more innovative ways to hire candidates in the future!

Read more articles and news from Kiwi Recruitment here

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