Three Steps to a New and More Effective Interview

By Megan Fleming

Off-the-wall interview questions, lengthy printed job descriptions and rounds of repetitive interviews are a very 1989 — or even 2003 — way of recruiting. Gerry Crispin, Principal of CareerXroads, says it’s high time for a change. “For many years we’ve had a pretty bad approach in general to recruiting and we continue to have a bad approach.” He says that advances in technology, particularly social media, are only adding to the problem and make it easier for companies to make the same mistakes — and make them faster.

Gerry CrispinCrispin is uniquely positioned to comment on companies’ hiring processes since he hears about them constantly at CareerXroads. His organization creates a platform for staffing leaders to have intimate conversations about the best and worst practices in hiring.

Crispin suggests that updated interview strategies will yield better results for employers and job seekers alike. These three steps are central to any new interview process:

1. Add simulations

Is the candidate right for the job? Is the job right for the candidate? Companies are using faster and more realistic testing tools that allow job seekers to pit themselves against the actual challenges of the job. “Today you can create a simulation that has a very low cost-per-use,” explains Crispin. “A job seeker can intimately embed themselves in a simulation of how a job operates and what it’s all about. This helps them make a better decision about whether they’re a fit for the job.”

Many companies with high volume needs are investing in actual simulations. Other firms with fewer positions rely on cost-effective, job-shadowing videos to provide a realistic preview of what it’s like to work at a company. “Video is not that interactive,” comments Crispin. “But it’s still a simulation of what a job is like and is a significant step-up over a paragraph-by-paragraph description of what you need to be part of a company.”

Simulations even have a place in technical fields, especially for positions that require project management skills. A “hack day” is an effective type of simulation for IT and engineering professionals. During hack days companies give professionals challenges, such as use their hacking skills to produce code or generate a technical resolution within a certain timeframe. The process would be a good self-test tool for prospects as well.