Let’s assume with God’s mercy, you did not throw out the potentially right candidates in the pre-screening phase – despite a 82% chance.
Personal (unstructured) interview
Now you pass onto the personal interviews. Personal interviews are highly subjective and reduce the value of your decision. The brain is a complex machine and we are not able to process all information with the same dominance. That means that certain elements of a discussion (bad hair cut, questionable pullover, garlic for lunch) will subconsciously overweigh other needed skills.
Research could show that the validity for personal interviews to pick the right candidate was 5 – 25%. 5 per cent? 5 per cent! That is incredibly bad. If you would have four candidates in your short list and instead of personal interviews you would have a lottery for the position, then the chances would also be 25%.
Personal structured interview
One of the reasons, why the validity of personal interviews is so low, is that everybody does it by his/her/its own taste. Some just chat, some talk about themselves, some have not read the CV of the applicant, some do not know the position properly…There are many ways to hold an interview, but if you do not structure the interview for your company, there will not be a consistant outcome across the whole company. To overcome this, many companies use structured interviews. A structured interview has a clear process, every employee / HR manager has to follow. A potential structured interview could look like this:
- Interview starts / warm up questions
- Applicant introduces himself
- HR manager / employee asks questions to the applicant’s CV
- Information to the position
- Answering questions to the position
- End of discussion, answering other question
This structured interview significantly increases the validity of the personal interview. But it only rises to 30-40%. It is much better than 5-25% but in 6-7 cases, the interviewer gets the result wrong. Just imagine, there would be vaccine against Coronoa which would only work in 30-40% of the time. No one would take it.
So, how can you fix this clearly broken hiring process?
In the next section we will introduce scientific methods to science-hack the hiring process.