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Job Interviews - 27 May 2008

For me and over 100 million other people around the world, the most exciting night of the year is the Eurovision Song Contest. And almost every year, the fabulous contest ends with a tinge of disappointment that a more deserving country didn't win the highly-coveted award.

The faulty actions voters make to select the winner of Eurovision are the same faulty actions managers make when conducting job interviews. In both cases, the best person ends up losing.

Biases. At Eurovision, the Baltic countries always vote for the Baltic countries, and the ex-Soviet nations vote for the ex-Soviet nations, and so on - all of which skew the outcome. At work, managers tend to be harder in interviews with those they don't like and easier on those they do. Chemistry and stereotypes come into play to blur a manager's judgement.

Incompetence. The Eurovision winner is decided by a public that is generally unaware of the technicalities involved with song-writing and performing. Likewise, the interviewing competency of managers is questionable. The majority don't undergo comprehensive training on how to effectively interview people.

No correlation. There are only a few Eurovision winners who have gone on to international stardom. And at work, there's little correlation between how well a person interviews and their potential performance on the job. Many candidates get nervous which incorrectly translates into low self-confidence, and as a result, they're unfairly excluded.

When conducting interviews, ask yourself three questions:

  • Am I measuring someone's interviewing skills rather than their ability to perform?
  • Are interviews a decision-making tool rather than a way to collect information?
  • Am I hiring someone who is just like me rather than the best person for the job?

The method you use to interview candidates will determine whether or not the people you hire are worthy of an encore.

 

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