Recruiting for SMEs: Competency-based interviews are key

Published October 11th, 2016 - 09:20 GMT
Your questions should revolve around desired key abilities, varying based on the specific job role and your organization’s wants and needs. (Shutterstock)
Your questions should revolve around desired key abilities, varying based on the specific job role and your organization’s wants and needs. (Shutterstock)

How many times have you hired someone who seemed to be the perfect fit for your SME and realized only too late that you made a mistake? Have you ever noticed a mismatch between what your applicants’ CV states and what their skills really are? If the answer to these questions is yes, well, you should really rethink the way you select your hires, starting from the very moment you meet them: the interview.

The purpose of the interview is getting to know a candidate and seeing if he/she can be a good fit and a great asset for the company. A number of studies show that candidates tend to learn by heart, or sort of, the classical interview answers – regarding career expectations, weaknesses and strengths, and so forth – that reveal very little about their effective employability. Also, they mostly portray a nice picture that doesn’t necessarily reflect their skills, and ultimately end up omitting what they are actually able to do. This is neither good for you nor for your candidates.

Evaluating the suitability of your candidates relying solely on their CVs and standardized questions is just not possible. So what can you do to test jobseekers’ knowledge of the company and the industry they applied to?

In order to level the interview playing field and find your perfect hires, try to make the so-called “competency-based interview” part of the selection process. This means that your questions should revolve around desired key abilities, varying based on the specific job role and your organization’s wants and needs.

Pertinent questions can be about communicationleadershiptime managementdecision making and teamwork. For example, you can ask your candidates about a time when they had to adjust their communication approach to address a particular audience, when they faced a challenge but managed to get by, or even when they failed to accomplish a task.

There is another way to test the way candidates perform under pressure and overcome the many challenges SMEs, like yours, have in store. You can envisage a potential scenario of crisis – a complaint from a prominent client, the unexpected resignation of a leading member of the team, etc. and ask your interviewee how they would react and what concrete solutions they would come up with.

“Some customers are unhappy about your service and have turned to social media to express their concerns. How would you respond to that and prevent the problem from occurring again?”

“Our graphic designer is a volcano of creativity, but when it comes to customer satisfaction he falls short of a good strategy. What would you do to help him out and inculcate a customer-centric model?”

Of course, the more details your questions have, the higher chances are that your candidates will be able to apply their skills and attitudes to real-life problems. In any case, going beyond the conventional interview questions will definitely allow you to check your candidates’ real capabilities, motivation to pursue the job, and commitment to a career with your SME.

To support your search and scan your candidates the right way, Bayt.com offers employers of choice like you an array of solutions – including results reports and standardized testing to confirm the skills that candidates claim to have – that will help you make the best hiring decision possible.

This article originally appeared in Bayt.com.

This article and all other intellectual property on Bayt.com is the property of Bayt.com. Reproduction of this article in any form is only permissible with written permission from Bayt.com.


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