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Posts Tagged ‘Performance Skills

I wrote the article below in 2012 and it is just as true today as it was then. It never ceases to amaze me when I read articles about interviewers who think it is cool to ask “junior shrink” questions. I wonder if anyone at their company is tracking results of these types of questions and subsequent hires. We all know how expense just one bad hire can be to a company. In fact, the higher the position the more expense the cost which is why a structured performance based interview is a far better strategy. Enjoy

Are you a Junior Shrink Interviewer? By Lee Koren, PHR

Today I was helping a young lady with her job search. We discussed the typical things – Resume, Job Search and Interview Strategies. She told me about an interview she recently attended wherein the interviewer asked “If you could be a fruit, what type of fruit would you be”. Hmm, I’m surprised these questions are still being asked in interviews. I immediately asked her if the interviewer disclosed herself as a doctor (psychologist or psychiatrist) – she said no – but could not confirm that the interviewer did not hold this distinguished designation. Then I asked her if the interview was with Apple – I mean maybe the interviewer was looking for “apple” as a good faith answer – a little interview humour? However, the company was not Apple.

Ok so here I go – up on my soap box. What in the world does “fruit” have to do with getting a job as a customer service rep? I’d like to see that job description – really how do you incorporate “fruit” into the job requirements? Let’s see – “Must love all fruits” or “Only fruit lovers will be considered” Or “Must be able to deal with all kinds of fruits” – I mean really!!!!

Unless the interviewer is a bona fide psychologist or psychiatrist and knows how to decipher the answer then he/she has no business asking this type of question. These questions, asked by inexperienced interviewers. almost always lead to subjective and bias decisions without any measureable evidence to back up the decision. Think about it – my response might be “peach” – when I’m asked “why a peach” I say” because I like peaches” – little do I know that the interviewer dislikes peaches – or maybe he/she is allergic to peaches – there’s one subjective strike against me.

If you are asking junior shrink questions in the interview try replacing it with a behavioural interview question? It is much better to identify the skills and competencies required to perform the job and develop behavioural/performance based questions to help you evaluate each candidate consistently – so much more objective.

Remember, poor hiring decisions are very costly; and questions about what type of fruit, colour or dog a person prefers will end up costing your company in more ways than one.

Lee Koren is a Human Resource Professional with extensive international experience. She is certified as a Professional in Human Resources (PHR) by the Society for Human Resource Management and a Master Trainer in Behavioural Interviewing. Lee possesses over 25 years of experience in selection and recruitment. She has recruited and hired thousands of resources for large global corporations.

I just read an article by Dawn Papandrea which outlines 3 key reasons why young professionals are not getting hired. I found it to be right on target with one exception. Under the heading “One Size fits all Resume” Dawn suggests the candidate insert a few keywords in their resume from the job posting.  It has been my experience, that if done properly, a person only needs one resume.   First, the individual needs to do his/her homework in advance – i.e., identify key strengths, research the job market and job posting for applicable skills and take the time to produce a resume which accurately  portrays their skills, knowledge and abilities. Couple this with a focused job search strategy based on key strengths and the need for multiple resumes goes away.  In fact, having several different resumes can come back to haunt you!   For instance, I was interviewing a young man for an entry level consultant role. I asked him to please explain his role at ABC Company. He was very quiet and then said “Lee can I please see the resume” I said “of course” and shared my copy. His face turned red as he stated – “I’m so sorry, somehow you have received the wrong copy of my resume”.  Well alrighty then – let’s continue shall we?  Needless to say the interview was cut short – why? because as a recruiter I expect the person I’m interviewing to be able to talk to everything on their resume. Hence my point, if you start customizing a resume for each position you better have a darn good memory.  I understand there may be exceptions; however, as a rule and to be safe, try to have one resume that does an excellent job of representing your strong performance and technical skills.  Remember, the purpose of the resume is to get you the interview then it’s up to you to sell yourself.  You only have one chance to make a good impression so make sure there are no stumbling blocks.

Enjoy the article by Dawn http://bit.ly/X5nq39

 

Lee Koren is certified as a Professional in Human Resources and Master Trainer in Behavioural Interviewing.  Her passion and expertise is selection and recruitment.


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