Risk & Business Magazine Cooke Insurance Magazine Summer 2018 | Page 24

INTERVIEW BETTER Interview Better: BY: BRAD SMART, PRESIDENT & CEO OF TOPGRADING, INC. Myth’s Exploded W ould you like to be better at interviewing candidates for hire? My Topgrading team spent a day with just the heads of Human Resources of just the largest 100 companies in the world and those companies admitted that 75 percent of the people they hire turn out to be disappointments. Not to toot our horn, but the dozens of case studies at TopgradingCaseStudies.com show the average improvement in hiring high performers improved from 26 percent to 85 percent for companies using Topgrading. It’s fine if four to six key competencies are identified for the job. But there are more competencies that are so important if a candidate falls short on one, there’s no way the person could be a high performer. 1. “SIT AT CHAIRS FACING EACH OTHER; PHYSICAL BARRIERS CREATE PSYCHOLOGICAL BARRIERS, SO DON’T SIT AT A TABLE.” Recommendation: Take constant notes but be discrete when recording mistakes. Here’s how you can improve: Don’t believe what we call the eight most harmful myths in interviewing: Hello, did any of these authors ask candidates what they prefer? Most prefer sitting at a table, so that if they can scratch an itch, change positions, stretch a bit, etc. Candidates want a little privacy. Recommendation: Sit at a table! Candidates will thank you! 2. “HAVE 95 PERCENT EYE CONTACT; CONSTANT EYE CONTACT IS NECESSARY FOR RAPPORT.” Nonsense! Your mom told you, “Don’t stare,” right? Everyone wants to look away from time to time, not because they are lying but just to NOT stare … or be stared at. Recommendation: Have 50 percent eye contact (none when you’re jotting notes). 3. “FOLLOW NO MORE THAN 6 COMPETENCIES; IT’S TOO HARD TO FOLLOW MORE.” 24 Recommendation: Do what Topgraders do – track ALL the competencies (and their might be dozens of competencies for a managerial job). 4. “DON’T TAKE NOTES – YOU WANT TO JUST HAVE A CONVERSATION AND NOT LOOK LIKE A LAWYER INTENDING TO CATCH YOU IN A MISSTATEMENT.” Good grief; writing what the candidate said were successes and accomplishments shows professionalism and all candidates want you to take those notes! 5. “MAINTAIN A 50 PERCENT - 50 PERCENT DIALOG IN INTERVIEWS; AFTER ALL, THIS IS A CONVERSATION, NOT AN INTERROGATION.” Do this and the interview will take twice as long as it should; 50-50 is fine before the interview and after it. Recommendation: During the interview talk only 10 percent of the time and you’ll learn a lot more about the candidate. 6. BE THE ONLY INTERVIEWER; WHEN THERE ARE MORE THAN ONE, IT’S A PILE ON, INTIMIDATING TO THE CANDIDATE.” General Electric improved from 25 percent to 50 percent high performers hired, using Topgrading. CEO Jack Welch asked me how they could improve and I said, “Use two interviewers.” Jack implemented the tandem Topgrading Interview; GE became the most valuable and the most respected company in the world. Recommendation: Use two interviewers. 7. “USE COMPETENCY (BEHAVIORAL) INTERVIEWS BECAUSE THEY ARE THE MOST COMMON.” Our research suggests those common interview methods lead to 75 percent mis-hires! Example: Well Organized is the competency and the question is, “Pat, please give me an example of a time you were well organized.” Candidates anticipate those questions and can make up any answer, knowing that reference calls will not be with their bosses who might dispute their claim. Recommendation: Use chronological interviews that cover all jobs. 8. “CALL THE REFERENCES THE CANDIDATE PROVIDES.” Ouch! C Players “provide” their buddies for you to call. Recommendation: Tell candidates in advance THEY will have to arrange calls with their former managers and then make the calls they arrange. + Dr. Brad Smart is an internationally renowned management psychologist and is generally regarded as the world’s leading expert on hiring best practices. He has written five books on hiring including the New York Times/Wall Street Journal best seller Topgrading: 3rd Edition. Topgrading methods have enabled hundreds of small companies and leading companies such as General Electric, Barclays, and the American Heart Association, to more than triple their success hiring high performers.