Study suggests the secret to better interviews

The recruitment process is far from ideal, with an estimated 30% of new hires failing to make it past the 6 month mark in their new job.  There are numerous reasons for this, with a recent study highlighting how recruiters are often unable to distinguish between success achieved under easy conditions and success achieved under challenging conditions.

There is also the specter of discrimination, with a recent move by UK employers to remove names from applications an attempt to overcome any biases recruiters may have.  Alas, studies have shown that even things like social media can distort our thinking.

Cleaning up the interview

Of course, many of these selection flaws present themselves before candidates even reach the interview stage, but researchers from the University of Sussex believe they have developed a better way of interviewing, with the overall aim being to reduce our reliance upon gut instinct when making hiring decisions.

“We show people how judgements based on behaviour, disposition and appearance are much more misleading than they are useful. So it’s very important for interviewers to have a technique that gets them beyond their first impression,” the researchers say.

The new model of interviewing involves three distinct phases, which are repeated over a couple of cycles:

  1. The rapport phase – this is when you use non-threatening questions to establish a baseline for behavior when the candidate isn’t under pressure
  2. Information gathering phase – next you try and gage the level of information people give when describing their skills and attributes.  It uncovers a commitment to a particular version of the truth
  3. Veracity testing phase – the final phase then tests their knowledge based upon the responses given in phase 2.  Questions here ‘should’ be easy to answer, providing what has gone before is accurate.  The baseline from phase one is then used to determine any shifts in behavior

Alas, the authors highlight the lack of training many interviewers receive prior to undertaking the process, so it’s perhaps not that surprising that so few appear to do it with any great success.

They are confident however that their model offers a robust means to improve interviews and ensure the recruitment process delivers more of what is required of it.


One thought on “Study suggests the secret to better interviews

  1. Great article. Some persons work well under pressure, while some do not, and it’s a recruiter’s job to decipher this from the onset.

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