Are the days of the traditional interview numbered?

With many companies looking to shake up their recruitment processes, are the days of the traditional interview numbered?Recruitment trends constantly evolve to work alongside changing working environments. The new trend within many hospitality sectors is for candidates to ‘audition’ for a role, rather than be formally interviewed; but is this appropriate for commercial real estate and should an already well established process be altered?

The desire for, and expectation, of fresh talent has never been more prevalent and it has been argued that finding extraordinary people cannot be achieved within the confines of a structured interview. The formal environment of an interview is said to be “out dated and inflexible” in today’s workforce.

The new ‘auditioning’ model is a modern, proactive, practical approach for individuals to showcase their talent and strengths. However, this method typically consists of numerous activities and the outcomes are often masked by the simplicity of the task. This process is also matched by the notion of seeing potential candidates operating within a group environment.

Whilst this may be good for assessing whether someone is a team player or not, can it really give an employer a sense of a person’s credibility for the job or portray a professional image? A group environment could spark a sense of showmanship or added pressure on an individual however, so too could a one-on-one interview. Therefore is it not a better idea to change the way we conduct an interview within an already approved structure rather than changing it completely?

One way in which the current interview technique could be improved is to question the old maxim that the best predictor of future behaviour is past behaviour. Whilst past achievements are a good indicator, they should not be solely relied upon and employers should take a more holistic approach. This is especially important if hiring graduates, as their past experience may be limited but their future potential could be limitless.

Employers can become very fixated on a CV and equally hung up on the fine print therein. A popular trend, set to combat this, is for employers to conduct interviews without a CV present. This eliminates any pre-conceived ideas about the candidate and can create a more open and relaxed engagement. This method may be impractical however when recruiting for senior level positions, as a certain standard and credibility of experience will need to be met. However, simply having an open mind set to this approach will definitely add value to the recruitment process.

Online psychometric testing is also a powerful and reliable recruitment tool in gaining an understanding of someone’s strengths and inevitable weaknesses. Not only do they highlight areas of limitation but they can also offer ways of managing them and not letting them become a hindrance to the individual and the employer. Summit Search & Selection take great care in identifying these ‘soft’ skills as well as the ‘hard’ skills required for a job, as these give a real insight into whether a candidate will culturally fit into a company.

Organisations could certainly benefit from re evaluating how they conduct their interviews and by adopting more specialised, targeted techniques to assess candidates during the recruitment process. However, due to the nature of the corporate environment, the formal interview structure still applies and remains the most efficient form of recruitment; it is just the content that needs to be modernised.

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