Why Did We Hire This Person: Part 3

Part 3 of our 7 part series with Ben Dilla and Ron Evans continues to discuss the glaring question organizations find themselves asking, “Why did we hire this person?” We’ve covered the realization of not knowing what the organization was looking for and intentionally limiting the talent pool. Today’s observation faces when an organization realizes…

“We didn’t ask the most important questions.”

Observation #3: We didn’t ask the most important questions.

Despite hours (or days) of interviews with the candidate you selected, important factors may have been overlooked.
When the person shows up for work, they don’t seem to be the person you expected. They don’t have the experience you thought, or they need training on something you thought they could do, or they are relating to people in ways that don’t fit your culture. Many times, we find that decision makers have failed to ask questions about the behaviors that matter most.

Comment: While interviews are certainly the most common form of assessing candidates, a major review of research on personnel selection by Robert Guion of Bowling Green State University noted:

“Most reviews of the reliability and validity of interviewers’ judgments have ended with the depressing but persistent conclusion that they have neither. …most interviews are casual conversations, covering different territory according to the whims and immediately preceding experiences of the interviewer.”

Interviews by you and your staff should focus on the candidate’s experience relative to the critical position requirements (CPRs) that is, critical elements of abilities, behaviors and experience, not just assessing how well you like this person. Interviewing is a skill – asking the right questions and having good follow-up to ensure you get the details needed to assess the person accurately – and it doesn’t “just happen.” Training, feedback, and
coordination among interviewers will make a difference! The review by Robert Guion concluded, “well-planned, clearly structured, behaviorally focused, job-related interviews have better chances of resulting in good predictions than do those that just happen.”

Help other organizations benefit from your learning experience! What questions has your organization wished it had asked in an interview?