November 16, 2023

Four Common Interviewing Misjudgments

The following scenarios are based upon reading candidate assessment results, then speaking with clients.  Assessing a candidate before a first or second interview is going to help interviewers and hiring managers immensely with the information provided in the reports.  The end result will be a better interview and more informed hiring decisions. 

The candidate seemed to have lots of Energy in the Interview
Interviewers get confused when they interview a candidate who appears to have ‘lots of energy’, but their score on the assessment says otherwise.  When a candidate responds on the assessment telling us that they are task oriented, patient, and lower on energy, results like this are typically very predictive over time.  Candidates who appear ‘energetic’ in an interview but assess otherwise can be very talkative (extroverts), nervous or anxious, too much coffee, smart and good with words, or other reasons.

The candidate looks and sounds ‘Honest’. 
The candidate scored as a ‘risk’, but they seem very honest and I know his/her parents.  How many times have you interviewed a candidate who told you they will work as little as possible, bend lots of rules, borrow inventory and cash, etc… on the interview?  Good cons are professionals at conning people.  And when did looks predict honesty?  I bet if you interviewed convicted criminals caught for stealing something, a good portion of them would appear honest in a short interview.  “Honest Jack” Sheppard was a notorious English thief and prison escapee.  But he is known by “Honest Jack”??  As I tell some of our clients, do not give a new hire the ‘keys’ on day one.  Predicting honesty is one of the most challenging traits to predict if not the most challenging.  Possible Solutions – Prehire Integrity Surveys, diligent reference checking, backgrounds, and uncomfortable interview questions on this topic.

The candidate sounded Very Smart
The candidate scored lower than desirous on the Cognitive Section.  Beware, if you are interviewing someone with years of experience in their job or industry, they should sound smart but you have no idea how long it took them to get to this point.  And it doesn’t mean their cognitive abilities are at an appropriate level to meet your expectations in this position.  Which brings up another point.  Just because someone succeeded at XYZ company, same position, same industry, does not always equate to success at your company.  The easiest way we can improve a company is by assessing candidates for cognitive abilities.  Over time, it would be easy to improve the cognitive abilities of your company by 10, 20 or maybe even 30+ percent as you grow or turn people over.  Ask questions that do not pertain to their expertise.  Cognitive Ability Assessments have been noted as one of the best predictors out of all selection methods when hiring a candidate for a position with no prior experience.

We LIKE the candidate and they are NICE!
That is great, but the results on the Assessment show some areas of concern that may cause a job misfit.  “But Plotkin Group, they are so nice.  We want to hire them.”  If you need a friend at work, you should hire them.  If you want someone that can do the job day in and day out, please ask some of the suggested interview questions on the report before you make a hiring decision.  Most hiring managers want an employee they can get along with and enjoyable to work with, but……..I have not read any job descriptions that I recall which emphasize these two characteristics as the only two characteristics required to be successful in the job.  

The other complex piece to the hiring puzzle involves the judgment of all interviewers and hiring managers involved.  Employee Assessments are a great tool that gives you information which is not biased or judged.   Please contact us if you would like to improve your odds with hiring or promoting, or to discuss any topic in this month’s newsletter.  Good Luck with Hiring!

On a side note, Hank Plotkin started our company in March of 1968.  I thought we lost Hank a few weeks ago, but he found another gear.  Instead of waiting until Hank is not with us, we want to dedicate this Newsletter to him while he is still here.