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Improve Your Interview Process with Structured Interviews

By Sarah Beckett on May, 21 2019
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Sarah Beckett

However universal the challenges are, HR and hiring managers use a multitude of different tactics to mitigate the risk of a bad hire.
New talent acquisition solutions are hitting the market every day to help you screen candidates more effectively, use AI to predict success, and even search out passive candidates who aren’t looking for a job. 

In this post, we'll look at the following points:

  • How to restructure your current interview process
  • Getting buy-in from your hiring managers
  • How you can simplify your interview process


Getting Hiring Right

Everyone would agree that hiring is a critical step to managing and growing a company.

Most business leaders and HR professionals can probably share a horror story or two of a time they thought they were hiring a great candidate, but things didn’t turn out quite as they had planned.

And the costs associated with this bad decision, both monetarily and in terms of morale, are significant.

What is often overlooked, is what happens when you get your candidates into a room. Are candidates being evaluated fairly and is this done against real job-specific criteria?

Read on to find out some tactics that you can implement to base your hiring decisions more on demonstratable competencies rather than hypothetical factors.


Structuring Your Interview Process

Research has shown time and time again, that structuring your interview processes can have significant positive impacts on results.

According to Wired, structured interviews have been proven to predict performance about 26% of the time, much better than unstructured interviews (14%) or background checks (7%).

One tried and tested methodology is to take a competency-based approach to interviewing.

Competency-based, aka behavioral interview questions ensure that candidates are evaluated based on job-related requirements. Integrating competencies into your processes makes it easy to identify what questions should be asked and provides the standard against which candidates should be measured.

The objective is to make sure that all candidates being interviewed for the same role are asked the same questions and evaluated against the same set of standards.


Getting Buy-In

Like any new process or initiative, getting buy-in is critical to make sure your structured processes are adopted. Managers need to feel empowered to conduct structured interviews, so getting their buy-in is key.

When crafting your communications, it’s important to answer the question: What’s in it for me? Focus on highlighting the manager’s pain points and the costs associated with a bad hire. Then appeal to them with hard statistics and facts that highlight how a structured interview can help address their concerns.

If you are looking at a competency-based approach, there is lot of data to back up how competencies will help solve the problem.

Not only will competency interviews ensure you stay focused on job-related requirements, but research has shown that that companies that use competency interviewing are 55% more likely to see growth within the company and 37% more likely to see a reduction in turnover.

This solves the managers’ main problems of how to conduct an interview. It can also help address any future worries they may have around growing the team and creating a great group of people to work with.


Simplify Your Process

Make it easy on yourself. Find a solution that will help you operationalize your structured approach in a way that it won’t bog down your hiring managers.

For example, in our software, CompetencyCore, competencies are put into action immediately with a large bank of interview questions pre-mapped to competencies that your hiring managers can turn into interview guides in minutes.

Providing managers with guides complete with tips on how to run your interviews and evaluate candidates can give those unfamiliar with hiring practices, an easy-to-follow process for conducting an interview. Check out our sample hiring guides here

The standardization and measurement of the hiring guides also makes it easier for comparison between candidates in the case of multiple interviewers or interviews that span locations and times. The decisions maker can review the ratings to determine the candidate they feel will be the best fit for the company.

Take a sneak peek at how to easily create quality interview guides!


Next Steps

Want to see how you can improve your hiring processes with a competency-based approach?

Click the button below to access our Complete Guide to Running Competency-based Interviews PDF (no information required). 

View the Guide →


Post last updated: June 25, 2020.