Evolving Your Interviewing Process

Posted by The Garner Group on Sep 1 2016


It is commonly known that all individuals should put their best foot forward throughout the interviewing process – both applicants and hiring managers alike. Offices are tidied up, everyone is polite with introductory small talk, and professional game faces are on.

"My greatest weaknesses? I work too hard. I sometimes care too much about the work I do. I don’t know when to quit; some have even told me my tendency to over-achieve makes others in the department second-guess their value on the team.”

As generations evolve, so can the preferred means of communication. Organizations such as Zappos are keeping up with that evolution by eliminating job postings. Instead, candidates must create a profile on Zappos’ social media site, including a video cover letter designed to showcase their true colors. Pizza Hut has mirrored Twitter in their approach to hiring talent for their digital media teams: each candidate is given a 140 second opportunity to showcase their skills. Although certainly not appropriate for every role, this method shows that Pizza Hut understands what they want in a candidate (expert micro-bloggers who can capture attention immediately) and how to creatively screen for that skill set.

Pattern Interrupt

Disrupting the expected course of conversation can be an effective method to digging beyond the surface answers that a candidate has mentally prepared. Off-the-wall questions purely for the sake of jarring a candidate are unnecessary and may leave the individual feeling turned off from the opportunity, but questions designed to achieve a certain objective can certainly be incorporated.

As an example, if the objective is to understand how much of an active learner the candidate is, asking about the most recent book read can reveal a more accurate answer than simply the direct question of “do you view yourself as an active learner?” If trying to assess for personality fit, questions such as “one time my sense of humor helped me was…” or “my personal motto is…”

One organization wants to assess how willing a candidate is to pitch in whenever asked, so the question posed in the interview is “the newest hire in our organization is tasked with taking out the trash each night, until the next new hire starts. How do you feel about that?”

The bottom line is if you ask the same interview questions asked by every other firm, you will likely get the same surface answers candidates have become comfortable giving. A pattern interrupt is a way to change a person's state or strategy; consider incorporating into your search process for more in-depth answers.

Paint a Picture

Take a look at the “join us” section on your website; first, do you have one? If not, get going! If so, take a deeper look – does your career section do more than list open positions? Although listing vacant positions seems logical, consider the opportunity this page holds for talking less about what you need in a hire and more about what you offer to someone and their career. 

Best in class career sites tell a compelling story of the organization’s culture. They include a value proposition or a mission statement and reasons why employees like working at your company. Often times these pages showcase staff members and their accomplishments since joining the organization or videos. Short video clips from around the office, community, and spotlighting superstars can be an effective way to share “why your firm” to any prospect considering applying to your organization.

Finding People Who Make a Difference®
Executive Search Review has recognized the Sanford Rose Associates® network as being one of the Top 10 Search Firms in North America with 70+ offices worldwide. To learn more about evolving your interviewing process from a surface-level snorkeling experience to a deep-sea dive, please reach out to your Sanford Rose Associates® executive search consultant today.

—Karen Schmidt

Topics: hiring, interviewing tips

Subscribe to Our Monthly Newsletter

Recent Posts