Who’s better – the interviewer or the interviewee?

No manager will admit to being a poor interviewer –that is the problem. Do we see interviewing as a skill to be learned, practiced and developed just as any other skill?

While professional interviewers practice daily, line managers may only interview two or three times a year. Get it wrong and the pain is great, not only the cost to the company, but also the severe knock to self respect and self esteem.

Gut feel and ability won’t wash
Many managers make interview decisions based on only two factors:

1.    Gut feel – “I think they will fit in here” or “I like him/her”.
2.    Ability – “The candidate’s technical skills and track record are good and that’s enough for me”.

Thus, we spend most time questioning the candidate on information we can get from the CV or application form.
We hire on technical skills and fire for lack of behavioural fit
Behavioural fit impacts ability to perform the job.  So how can we become expert at picking the right person?  In reality we will always consider gut feel and ability. But we need to look at the more important third factor – how well the candidate’s behavioural traits match those required by the job and the impact they will have on performance.

That’s where psychometric testing helps us to objectively qualify and counter balance our gut feel and not depend entirely on technical ability.
The Third Factor
We need to clearly define our behavioural requirements for the job using a tool such as the McQuaig Job Survey® to assess the candidate against these requirements.  Comparison with the McQuaig Word Survey® will allow an objective match of candidate to job – much better than gut feel and more predictive than technical ability.
Identify past behaviour as a guide to future performance
The challenge for any busy manager is finding time to prepare quality interview questions.  Without time, we will tend to base these on technical ability because that’s what we know and because we tend to think on our feet during the interview.

With a psychometric testing system like the McQuaig Job Survey and McQuaig Word Survey there is a readymade set of behavioural questions.  These are specific to the candidate and the job – at the same time there’s a clear outline of the types of response we need to hear to make a successful appointment.
To be an effective interviewer we need to take into account all three factors with a much stronger emphasis on the third factor – behavioural requirements. The McQuaig System is there to help us draw out this third factor – to help us pick the right person for the job.