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The Days of Traditional Interviews are Numbered

In a day and age where personality and organisational cultural fit is becoming more important employers are increasingly moving away from conventional interview methods in order to allow candidates’ true personalities to shine through. Organisations are adopting highly specialised, targeted methods at every level to ensure the best talent crosses the threshold. The workforce has changed rapidly over the past couple of decades, as has the nature of work. Employees are expected to be flexible, collaborative and innovative, therefore employers need to be a lot more innovative in their approach to recruitment.

At Solve. we recently worked in partnership with a high end hospitality client to develop an assessment day that would allow them to assess candidate suitability through practical assessments and an innovative interview technique. Our client wanted to recruit people who not only had the basic skills required for the role but also had a great personality so that they could engage with their customers and create a welcoming atmosphere.   There were a variety of different positions such as waiting staff, kitchen assistant and doorperson.

For the assessment centre groups of candidates were invited to attend at various times throughout the day. The type of role they applied for determined the assessment they were required to undertake. For example the waiting staff were asked to set up a table for an afternoon tea for two. Assessors watched as the candidates performed the tasks and scored them accordingly. Whilst the Doorperson candidates were asked to take part in a role play assessment to evaluate how they would deal with difficult customer situations.

After the assessments the candidates were then asked to take part in a ‘speed interviewing’ process with a different set of assessors. Each candidate had just 10 minutes to answer 10 interview questions that were developed to gain a better understanding of their personality. So rather than using traditional competency based questions the questions used were quirkier such as ‘If you could meet any celebrity who would it be and why?’, ‘Tell me about a role model and why you look up to that person?’ and ‘If your best friends was sitting here, what would they say was the best thing about being your friend?’. The fast paced nature of the interview meant that candidates had to give rapid responses that could not be rehearsed allowing us to see how quickly they could think on their feet and gave us a true indication of their personality.

At the end of the day the various assessors met up to discuss their evaluation of each individual candidate. The assessment scores and feedback coupled with the interview information gave a well-rounded picture of each candidate and their suitability. Through this assessment centre process we were able to fill the majority of the roles.

It may not be suitable for every organisation or role but more and more organisations are adopting this innovative style of recruitment. It can not only allow you to get a truer impression of candidates but can also help to sell your organisation to potential candidates especially if you can make it fun and entertaining.

If you are looking to develop a more innovative approach to recruitment then please contact our Recruitment Manager, Tracey Burke.