Only Time Will Tell Post-Interview: #TChat Recap

Ah, the job interview. The all-important transaction between job candidate and potential employer. You’ve screened out and assessed in the most qualified top tier of applicants. Maybe out of 10 total, or maybe out of 10,000. Whatever the math, you’re both ready to sit and talk for the first time.

You invite the job applicant into your office, and after a little small talk, one of the first things the applicant asks is:

“So, what are the benefits you offer? I’ve got a wife and three kids, you know.”

Or maybe the interviews starts off on the other foot, in your mouth:

“Thanks for coming in today. We’re very interested in you for this job. Very interested. Wow — did anyone ever tell you how gorgeous you are?”

Or maybe the interviewee comes prepared and asks questions like:

“How do you see this position collaborating with product marketing to drive B2B channel growth?”

Okay, maybe all of these are a little contrived, but believe it or not they’re all not too far from the truth of what I’ve experienced. (No, I wasn’t the guy who told the candidate how gorgeous she was. I mean, she was, but that’s not the point.)

And no matter how good we get as the hiring entities and interviewers, no matter the intricate behavioral technique or casual and personable style, no matter how prepared the candidates are, we’re only human, and we do our best to ask the questions and answer them fully and read between the lines…

To trust our gut. Very scientific, you know. For example, I remember back in the day when I did source and recruit software developers for sourcing and recruiting’s sake, and not just on TV. Here’s how it went after an initial phone interview screening and then presenting the candidates to the hiring managers:

Recruiter: This candidate is great. You should interview her.

Hiring Manager: Try again.

Recruiter: Why?

Hiring Manager: I don’t know. Just try again.

*sigh*

You say po-tay-to and I say po-tah-to. Right?

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: every recruiting technology that I’ve ever seen has always been about getting to the short list of qualified applicants more quickly, accurately and efficiently. But interviewing and hiring remain highly subjective, sometimes messy human endeavors.

In fact, interviewing and reference checking are the last recruiting activities to innovate, but innovate they are. Interview management platforms form the likes of HireVue, ZuzuHire, GreenJobInterview and many others now allow for combinations of live 2-way video streaming and/or 1-way video recordings with embedded assessment/screening questions and are giving companies exciting new ways to interview from afar while saving tons of money. Yes, tons.

The final interviewing stages prior to hiring are critical, with emotional connectivity being of the utmost importance in my playbook, to go from acquisition to retention. The best advice I was ever given on both sides of the hiring equation is to come well prepared for the interview, so you can be yourself and sell yourself as yourself (and your firm). Because what’s more important to assess in an interview: skills, grit or culture fit? What about emotional intelligence? You know me — I’m all about being a self-aware, emotionally focused decision maker (with a lil’ passion sprinkled in). Queue the EQ music…

However, don’t forget that folks can prep for tests and interviews, and only time will tell if they make the gritty fit. How can we get better at the know of fit?

That is the million dollar question that’s way above my pay grade. Thankfully there were folks much smarter than me participating last night.

Here’s our current reach and here are the questions from last night:

  • Q1: What are some of the ways in which interviews have changed the most for job seekers?  For employers?
  • Q2: What strategies can candidates use to influence the outcome of an interview before or after the interview itself?
  • Q3: What’s more important to assess in an interview: skills, grit or culture fit? Why? What about Emotional Intelligence?
  • Q4: How do interviewing best practices change for an interview with HR/recruiting vs. hiring manager?
  • Q5: What can candidates do in an interview to better assess the company/opportunity as well?
  • Q6: What’s the most valuable piece of interview advice you’ve ever been given?
  • Q7: How can technology help companies and candidates improve their interview and selection process?

Thank you for joining us last night! And a special thanks to Meghan M. Biro for moderating and Matt Charney and Monster Thinking for the pre-cap post.

#TChat Next Week – Trench HR: Trends on the Front Lines from HRevolution coming April 29-30. Join us!

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