The definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again while expecting things to change. This is a saying that is popularly misattributed to Albert Einstein (He never said it though). While this is not the exact definition of insanity, there is at least some kernel of truth to it. With this in mind, it begs the question: Why are we still conducting interviews today like it was 1989?
With the insane speed of technological advancement, organisations throughout the world are slowly beginning to favour other ways to determine job success. Video interviews in particular has become a popular replacement for face-to-face interviews.
The problem with the traditional, face-to-face approach to interviewing is that it is flawed, particularly when it comes to predicting future job performance. Research conducted in 1998 by Frank L Schmidt and John E Hunter found that interviews ranked ninth out of 19 different selection methods when it comes to validity for predicting future performance.
However, validity very much depends on whether the interview is structured or unstructured. In Schmidt and Hunter’s meta-analysis, one of the most effective predictors of job performance was general mental ability combined with a structured interview.
Technology as it is today is very well suited to delivering a structured interview. Where as face-to-face interview often comes towards the end of the recruitment process, organisations using video interviewing as a screening tool commonly do so at the beginning.
Structured interviews also help weed out some of the potential biases that interviewers may have. Bias is an inherent factor in all of our lives. Simply being aware of it does not change it. Trying to compensate for personal bias may already have tipped the bias in the opposite direction. The video interview platform has the potential to bring in fairness by making the assessment process consistent for all.
However, some businesses don’t just want their potential hires to answer a list of questions. Standardised questions can be a decent judge of performance, but organisations today are also defined by their culture. Hiring an incompatible personality can lead to reduced productivity. As such, some businesses choose to lose the résumé entirely. Instead, they try asking prospects to tell their story without saying anything that is on their résumé.
Behavioural interviews are another method that are gaining popularity over the traditional interview questions. It is a good method of validating skills, strengths, and job fit on the basis fact, instead of vague theories. They also protect against job candidates who are used to manipulating the process by preparing scripted answers and stories.
For example, if you want to gauge a prospect’s ethical standards, try incorporating powerful behavioural-based questions into your structured interviews. What do you believe comprises and ethical workplace? Tell me a situation that happened that challenged you ethically? Questions such as these can help an interviewer assess the personality and ethics of a potential hire in as objective a way as possible.
Some organisations are doing away with interviews altogether, opting instead to utilise bootcamps as a sort of trial period to gauge the performance of prospective hires. This method is comparable to that of a paid internship, where the prospects are taught the basics of how the business operates and are then scrutinised for their quality of work and their ability to adapt to the work culture.