July 24, 2017
Hiring 20 September 2016
5 Reasons Interactions Are Better Than Interviews
Gisel Malek
interactions, interviews are ineffective, recruiting, company culture

“I don't mind being interviewed any more than I mind Viennese waltzing - that is, my response will depend on the agility and grace and attitude and intelligence of the other person. Some do it well, some clumsily, some step on your toes by accident, and some aim for them.”

---Margaret Atwood


Companies have been running on interviews since what would seem to be the beginning of time. It doesn’t seem like much has changed, people come in and answer questions and leave to await a response. It seems to get the job done, so why should it change? 

The answer is very simple - we live in a society where change is constant, and it’s important for companies to realize that with all the focus now being on culture fit, the interviewing process needs to reflect that as well. A candidate's first impression of your company is had during the recruiting period. Everything from meeting the first face to getting an offer letter is going to have an impact on what they think. Competition for the best talent is very high, so staying ahead of the game is going to help you attract the best talent out there. 


Here’s a quick list of the main flaws with interviews:


1. Interviewers Get Nervous

This seems obvious, but when you think about it, it can really be clouding your judgment of them.  A recent study for Everest College conducted by Harris Interactive found nearly 95 percent of people looking for jobs are scared of at least one part of the interview process. Most candidates that haven’t had lots of experience with interviewing could very well be great candidates, but their nerves can sometimes get in the way of representing their best selves.This doesn’t mean they wouldn’t be a good fit, but a lot of times that’s what it translates to unfortunately. Studies have proven that narcissists perform better in an interview setting because they like to talk about themselves and know how to do it well. They also can manipulate the interview process to redirect the focus back onto their strengths, which can also skew the opinion of the recruiter. 


2. Fact or Fiction?

The biggest reason that interviews are ineffective are because it’s difficult to decipher fact from fiction.  Tweet: Experiments have proven that interviewers can only tell lies on average about 17 % of the time. The same study indicated that experience was irrelevant because hiring managers with years of experience couldn’t detect lies any better than a young professional straight out of college. People want to make themselves seem perfect for the role for obvious reasons. This makes a recruiter’s job especially challenging, because they really have to understand the difference between a creative candidate and a qualified one. 


3. Oh you like that show, too? Awesome!

It is a known fact that people like others who are most like them. Therefore, to be in a position where a candidate’s fate lies in your hands means a high responsibility to conduct a fair and unbiased interview. Studies show that many recruiters place a high emphasis on similarities they share with the interviewing candidates, from where they went to school to what foods they like. This explains why hiring has an overall failure rate of 50 %! It takes a very impartial person to conduct a very effective interview, and that’s rarely the case.


4. It’s not enough time!

There is so much pressure placed on being able to accomplish so much during an interview. Recruiters want to determine the right fit so they want to assess qualifications, experience level, culture fit, personality type, and they try to do it in the hour they have time. With such a limited amount of time, how are people supposed to determine how perfect this person is? Our brains do not function properly in that way and that kind of information overload can be stressful on both the recruiter (not allowing for best assessment capabilities) as well as the candidate (systematically answering questions) not allowing for a proper representation of who they really are. 


5. Unable to determine consistencies

Unstructured interviews are not actually helpful when it comes to being consistent and fair because every interview slightly varies. When it comes time for analyzing candidates, you’re ultimately comparing two different things. The answers people give you are directly in proportion to the way they were asked. Everything from body language to wordage can affect the answers that are given. This can completely negate the process of comparing the answers give by different candidates, making it useless and a waste of time. 


It’s important to implement a process that not only engages your candidates enough to know the real them, but also shows them what kind of company they want to be a part of. Check out our post on the benefits of interaction-based interviews to learn more! 


Learn about all the features of performance-based hiring and put an end to old-fashioned- interviewing!