6 Problems with Job Interviews Today (And How to Fix Them)

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What’s wrong with job interviews today?

Too much. In fact, according to a recent CareerBuilder survey of more than 6,000 global hiring managers, more than half of employers in each of the ten largest world economies have felt the effects of a bad hire.

With that many people having had bad hires, something must be wrong with the way we interview job candidates.

For starters, here are six (6) common problems with the job interview process today, and how to fix them to land better hires and improve employer brand:

1. Interviews aren’t being standardized

Today, no two interviews are alike — and that’s a problem.

Most of us have probably experienced an interview where the conversation flowed in multiple directions, often times in directions unrelated to the actual job interview. Even if you have a list of interview questions on hand, the nature of conversation makes it easy to venture off topic.

In an effort to level the playing field and ensure that candidates are all being asked the same questions, consider one-way video interviews. This unique approach to the job interview is quickly gaining speed within the hiring process, as it allows hiring managers to fairly assess and compare candidates.

During one-way video interviews, candidates record their responses to a series of pre-set questions, in a pre-determined amount of time. Opting for one-way video interviews establishes a sense of reliability, by having candidates answer the same questions in the same amount of time.

2. Cultural fit is left out of the equation

While a job candidate may seem like a great job fit, they may not be a good cultural fit. You worked hard to create a company culture employees can be proud of, so it should be at the forefront of your hiring decisions.

To better assess candidates for cultural fit, try asking questions like,

  • In what type of work environment are you most productive and happy?” or.
  • What management style motivates you to do your best work?” or
  • When working with a team, what role are you most likely to play?”

A candidate’s answer to these questions can give you a better idea of whether or not they would fit well within your company’s unique culture.

Have fun with it. In addition to the typical job interview questions, it can also help to throw a fun, seemingly random question out there that relates specifically to your company culture. You want the candidate’s personality to shine through, when answering these questions, not just their professional demeanor.

3. Little (to no) collaboration over hiring decisions

When it comes to making hiring decisions, the more the merrier. Having input from multiple sources provides unique perspectives on job candidates. Collaborating with colleagues can eliminate any bias or prejudice that can occur when assessing candidates.

If there can only be one interviewer present at the time of the interview, make sure that someone is taking clear and concise notes on the candidate, to share with others after the fact. Or, better yet, consider conducting a video interview.

Video interviews can often be recorded, and easily shared with colleagues. Some video interview platforms even offer collaboration tools, such as comment and rating systems, to make collaborating on candidates easier than ever.

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4. Assessment is only surface-level

Rather than just evaluating job candidates on their responses to interview questions, dig a little deeper by having them complete some form of pre-employment testing.

For instance, try creating a mock assignment that closely resembles what they would be working on if they were offered the job. Their ability to accurately complete the assignment, in a timely manner, can help you find the candidates most likely to succeed in the open position.

Depending on the job, it may also be helpful to require work samples from job candidates. These work samples are likely what the candidate deems to be their best work, and can give you a better idea of their skills, as they relate to the job.

5. Interviews are primarily held in-person

In-person interviews are expensive. They require both the interviewer and interviewee to take valuable time out of their day to meet, and they can also cost candidates a pretty penny in travel expenses. In some cases, having to travel a long distance for an interview can completely turn a candidate off from the process.

The solution? Video interviews.

Advances in technology now make it possible to hold inexpensive live or one-way interviews over the Internet. This type of interview can save time and costs for all parties involved, making it an attractive screening and interview option.

6. Candidates are kept in the dark

Keep in mind that the interviewee isn’t the only one being judged during the interview process.

That process can say a lot to candidates about the employer brand and fuel their decision to pursue a job with your company or to look elsewhere. That being said, don’t keep highly qualified candidates in the dark.

Not communicating with candidates throughout the hiring process can reflect poorly on the employer brand. Instead, keep candidates informed and respond to their follow-ups — doing so will create a more positive candidate experience.


10 Comments on “6 Problems with Job Interviews Today (And How to Fix Them)

  1. The nature of question #2 makes it impossible to implement #1. Asking about a cultural fit requires following up with probative questions that will always begin a loosely constructed conversation. The ease, flow, and nuances of that conversation determine cultural fit. Seems your trying to put square pegs in round holes to encourage people to use your video hiring. There are lots of good reasons to use video hiring, but #2 isn’t one of them.

  2. They are a lot of companies that utilizes expensive technology claiming to filter out candidates by assessment testing and predefined questions and video interviews with a “cyber” person and that’s the problem; everything is too standardized, if for example your a contractor applying for a permanent position it’s nearly impossible to explain that previous positions were contract, all the hiring manager see’s is you’ve worked for a lot of different organizations, there will be nothing better than both parties interacting with each other in a face to face interview, unless your looking to hiring a mindless robot companies are going to have to do some work and not rely on technology.

    1. I absolutely agree David.
      These “technologies” filter out too much of what should matter in an interview. Clearly a lot of fantastic job seekeres get “filtered” out before getting a chance.

      Having said that, there are ways to “tweak” your resume to give yourself the best chance at landing the interview by figuring out the keywords from the job description that they seem to be aiming for and making sure your resume reflects them. Still frustrating though, I know…

      Jeff Gillis

  3. Speaking about assessment testing they are the worst! They ask questions that aren’t even relevant to the job. Why does a cashing job want to know what my ranking in high school was? Then they also ask the same questions over and over again. It’s ridiculous!

  4. I ALWAYS address the management style and team dynamic that I work best in. The problem? Hiring managers ignore my question or lie to get my skill set in the door.

    I do agree with ketchikan9, but the fact is that there are far too many folks interviewing who have absolutely no idea what they are doing.

    If you can’t talk hold an intelligent conversation with people, don’t interview!

  5. Video interview really. If I got to get up put on my game face, professional voice and my clothes I might as well come into the office, especially if we are in the same state. If you look better than they do or appear you have a nicely decorated home better than theirs, they will get jealous and not hire you. They are looking at how you keep house which is a major invasion of privacy to me. It could be a fake company and they steal everything you have. If we can’t talk by phone or in person, forget it. I have turned down jobs because of that and I don’t feel bad about it. I am sick of those dumb assessment test that don’t apply about nothing but yet they tell you there is no right or wrong answer. I just click anything to get through them because some consultant is laughing all the way to the bank. I am also sick of interviewing people who have the brain cell the size of a pea and who dress as if they are going to the disco. I had one to tell me that she didn’t know anything about the position I was interviewing for and when I was telling her about the company to show I did my research she told me she didn’t know all of that. If they want me to be prepared they need to be prepared because I am interviewing them as well.

  6. Cultural fit is non-sense. Hiring managers have been implementing this criteria for such a long time and yet they still made bad hiring decisions. You know why? Because this criteria is not appropriate anymore. This method pushes away a top performer. We are all human and capable to adjust ourselves into a new environment. Cultural fit approach is like thinking once a person is thin, he will be thin forever.

  7. Why do you want this job? This questions typically follows on from the previous one. Here is where your research will come in handy. You may want to say that you want to work for a company that is x, y, z, (market leader, innovator, provides a vital service, whatever it may be). Put some thought into this beforehand, be specific and link the company’s values and mission statement to your own goals and career plans.

  8. Hi David! I completely agree with you.

    It’s a sad day when when qualified job candidates get filtered out by a machine without chance.

    One of the best ways to avoid this is to have a laser targeted resume that makes good use of keywords that are relative to your industry. I just wrote a resume article that covers this very topic: http://www.jobinterviewtools.com/how-to-write-a-resume/.


    Don Georgevich
    Job Interview Tools

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