In my previous post I derided the value of using personality testing in the recruitment process, so what's the alternative? The problem is people:
  1. People want to recruit people they like and they tend to like people like themselves
  2. They lie
  3. Too much of the decision is based on non-factual body language communication
So what's the solution?
  • Have the candidate interviewed by a range of staff -- both senior and junior, from a variety of backgrounds; not just technical. This can also be a great way to help develop juniors.
  • Allocate sufficient time to probe in detail the candidates experience and claims. Never accept the first answer but follow up and seek more and more detail (I will often repeat this 5-6 times on a single initial question) until it's clear what the truth is
  • Have some tough technical questions that are hard to answer correctly and discuss the question with the candidate -- the objective is to discover their ability to think logically rather than arrive at the correct answer
  • Have some simple questions in the candidates supposed field of expertise and see how many they can answer. No discussion is required unless it might be useful to discover why the candidate gave a response that was different to the anticipated answer
  • Never provide questions that can be answered 'yes' or 'no' and always follow up on simplistic answerers
  • Be open and honest with the job requirements and ask the candidate how they think can fulfil them. Follow up on these statements: ask for examples in previous jobs; seek justification for statements etc
  • When investigating 'soft' skills such as people communication skills or project management discuss examples from the candidates past and their feelings about the experience. Again, keep probing.
  • Discuss real world work scenarios and the various options they present. This demonstrates thinking as well as communication skills