An interview is at best an imperfect tool for determining an executive candidate’s potential value to a company. The whole idea is for the candidates to present themselves in the best possible light and avoid revealing anything that could make them less qualified for the job. But even learning about a candidate’s weaknesses proves critical to the executive recruiting process. Read on to learn how you can improve your executive search process by adopting performance-based interviewing.
The Advantage of Performance-based Interviewing
Despite the drawbacks of interviewing, few executive searches happen without interviews. One particular interview technique, performance-based interviewing, has the greatest likelihood of revealing the true skills and traits of candidates. This is because of the type of questions asked, as well as what the answers can tell interviewers, even if they are not completely truthful.
Performance-based interviews have several things in common. First, they are standardized to use the same evaluation criteria for every candidate. This prevents bias by leveling the playing field for all candidates. Second, this interviewing style asks for specific examples and situations that show the traits or skills needed for the job. Finally, performance-based interviewing seeks to evaluate both technical skills and soft skills, like communication, leadership, and cultural fit.
It’s easy to let bias creep in and influence the outcome of an interview, but not only is this unfair, it also hinders the effectiveness of the interview process. Using the same questions and the same way of evaluating the answers will keep the process fair for all candidates and will also reveal which candidates stand out from a data standpoint rather than just a subjective feeling.
Asking for Specific Examples
Another difference in performance-based interview questions is that they ask about specific examples of past experience instead of just asking for a candidate’s philosophy or general questions about their experience. “Give an example of a time you had to make a difficult decision,” is one example of a performance-based interview question.
It is far more difficult to be untruthful in a story about a specific experience than it is for a candidate to misrepresent their experience in a more general way. And no matter how the candidate actually answers, they will be revealing much about their personal character traits and job-related skills to the interviewer. Short of seeing the candidate handle the situation in person, there is no better way to get information about skills and traits than asking specific questions about these things.
Inclusion of Soft Skills
Soft skills are increasingly important in order to work in an environment that requires more collaboration and communication than ever. Performance-based interviews address soft skills directly through the same kind of situation-specific questions but targeted to soft skills.
Executive search is a high-stakes process for any company, and it’s imperative to get the best possible candidate to lead the rest of the staff. Thrive TRM works together with performance-based interviewing, offering profile comparisons, instant feedback from other search team members, and tracking performance metrics for the search. Contact us for more information on everything we offer for executive search.