Job Interview: 5 Successful Selection Procedures From Top Employers

professional recruitment

Dear executive, dear human resources manager! You must be strong now. We immediately throw a very specific word into the room: PRESENTATION TALK. What happens? Your neck hair is getting up? The applicant on the other side should have a similar situation. He, too, has been tormented by tens of exhausting, annoying conversations with little purpose. But job interviews also work differently. 5 tips that you can learn from the big players.

The classic 3-hour interrogation

Too tough, too exhausting, too long most interviewers and interviewees might associate these associations with a “job interview”. In some companies it has become common practice to “interrogate” the talent for up to three hours when they first get to know each other, and then to have it run 10 or 20 more times. No joke! Even in smaller IT slugs, that’s the order of the day.

But in the end it doesn’t help anyone. At some point all the questions are asked and the impression has long been established. Everything that goes beyond five job interviews of 30 minutes each is pure torture for both sides.

The big players have already noticed this years ago and have given the sick patient the long overdue cure. With success. Personnel departments should turn the following 5 adjusting screws so that the job interview in their own four company walls is fun again.

Job Interview: These are the biggest errors

Who actually said that a job interview must take hours and hours? In fact, experienced recruiters often know within a few minutes whether an applicant fits into a company or not.

After all, talents and careers are known and checked out. If they weren’t fundamentally suitable, the candidate wouldn’t be facing you. The job interview is mainly about the personality of the talent and things like that:

  • Cultural Fit: How well does it fit in with the company?
  • How does it react in stressful situations?
  • How quickly can it call up specialist know-how?

All this can be found out very quickly with the right interview technique. Large companies have noticed that they can often get to the bottom of such facts even less effectively in long conversations. Because after the one hundredth question they feel they have asked, there is a fatigue effect on both sides. And in the worst case, this can unduly cloud a first good impression.

Practical tip for jon interview number one: the duration

Successful players deliberately keep the conversation short: sprint instead of marathon. On average, they set half an hour. Not any more. (Between us: For above-average interesting interviews, the recruiters of course build in a time buffer).

Of course, HR managers do not have to measure the individual phases of the interview against the stopwatch. These are only reference values that can be interpreted individually.

In the model, a 30-minute interview could be clustered as follows:

  • Warm Up (3 minutes): The initial small talk serves to “sniff each other” and give the applicant time to arrive.
  • Introduction of the applicant (5 minutes): Here the talent gets the opportunity to work out his qualifications for the position to be filled.
  • Company presentation (5 minutes): The interview is not an interrogation. The applicant now gets a breather and all important information about the employer and his future field of work.
  • Deepening phase (15 minutes): The deepening phase serves to address open points and ambiguities as well as to collect detailed information on the applicant’s qualification profile. The more targeted and intensive the recruiter’s questions are, the more well-founded a selection decision can be made on the basis of the interview.
  • Farewell phase (2 minutes): The talent is given an outlook on the further course of the application process and is given a friendly farewell.

Practical tip for job interview number two: use the natural concentration curve

A much shorter talk time requires very specific questions with a lot of substance, a pronounced moderation ability on the part of the recruiter and the renunciation of superfluous content. The prerequisite is that the recruiter is perfectly prepared, asks questions that are formulated exactly to the point and answers the talent too long in a friendly but certainly abbreviated manner as soon as he has learned what he wants to know. That may be a challenge at first, but practice makes perfect.

In fact, such a stringent procedure in a job interview also makes sense from a scientific perspective. There is an individual limit to how long you can concentrate in difficult situations, including the job interview. It is between 20 and 40 minutes, depending on the difficulty of the task and your personal condition. Anything that goes beyond that is no longer substantial.

Practical tip for the job interview number three: the repetition

If that’s not enough for you, it doesn’t have to be one conversation. Instead of lengthening the job interview, it is a good idea to repeat it. And if possible with a different cast the picture of talent is all the more diverse.

But employers should also set an upper limit for the number of repetitions. Google, for example, is notorious for having had up to 30 conversations with a talent in the past. A madness and an ordeal for all!

That’s what the Googles found out at some point. They went into themselves and found out: Beyond the fifth conversation no more appreciable findings are added. By then the decision should have been made.

Practical tip for job interview number four: conscious emotional assessment

This is even clearer if all participants give their opinion in the aftermath. The best way to do this is to use a fixed points system for different competencies between one and five.

Some big players have had very good experiences to provide the respective scale with consciously strong emotions. For example, a “five” corresponds to the highest rating level and says: “If you don’t adjust it, I’ll go”. Four means: “I am enthusiastic and make a clear recommendation” and so on up to one: “Only over my dead body”.

Okay, okay this idea comes once again from America. But maybe you should give it a chance, because an emotional language may cause the evaluators to think harder about what grade they are giving, because each of them represents a very distinctive statement. In order to be able to stand behind this, one might consider a little more carefully where to place one’s check mark. In this way, the evaluations are more realistic and objective.

Practical tip for the job interview number five: the hiring criteria

The only question that remains is: What criteria should the participants use to evaluate the talent? The following categories are suitable here:

  • Job-related knowledge: Do the experiences fit exactly or are they promising? Do further skills need to be developed?
  • General and intellectual skills: How does the applicant tick? Can he quickly answer problematic questions? What is the quality of your solutions? Can he come up with new ideas in the course of the interview?
  • Cultural Fit: How well does the talent with its personality fit the company?
  • Leadership suitability: Does the talent have leadership potential?

Published by Dave John

Decade of work experience in leadership consulting with strong focus on talent acquisition & assessment across different industries and geographies.

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