How to test skills during an interview
It’s easy to get a good idea of a candidate’s work experience by looking at a resume. Likewise, you can understand his or her personality and likelihood of fitting into your company culture by talking through the interview. But how can you test for skills before hiring an employee? When the average cost of turnover is nearly 20 percent of an employee’s annual salary who earns less than $50,000 per year, according to the Center of American Progress, your business can’t afford to take a risk and hope that the confident candidate who has years of experience will make the best fit for the position.
Instead of hiring blindly, why not go the extra mile and make an effort to dive deeper during the hiring process? Soft skills you need to be on the lookout for include communication, teamwork, leadership, adaptability, critical thinking and work ethic, according to Workable. Here are a few ways to test skills during an interview:
Ask situational interview questions
Go beyond your general interview questions that teach you about your candidates’ education and current job position. Fast Company recommended adding the following situational questions to your list:
1. How did you prepare for this interview? Generally, candidates aren’t always prepared for a question like this. Asking about their preparation can offer a more candid response, which doesn’t just allow you to learn how they react in an on-the-spot situation, but also understand what they already know about the company and position.
“Go beyond general interview questions that teach you about experience.”
2. Could you tell me more about this job you held a few years ago? Don’t ask about his or her most recent job, rather skim down the resume and ask about a position the candidate held years ago. It allows the individual to reflect on past experience, which encourages him or her to show off critical-thinking skills.
3. Does that make sense? At some point throughout the interview, when you finish explaining something related to the position or the company, in general, ask this question, then ask the candidate to summarize what you just said in his or her own words. This showcases active listening skills and also allows you to get an inside look at the candidate’s point of view.
Make candidates complete a pre-employment assessment
Even after you’ve asked situational interview questions and made an effort to get to know potential employees past their job experience, you may want a second opinion before adding them to the team. To avoid hiring mistakes and unnecessary training costs, have your candidates complete a pre-employment test. An assessment can help you make a better informed decision by testing basic skills like productivity, and ensuring the candidates’ responses match their resume descriptions. An pre-employment test is a necessary piece of the puzzle that can give you an individualized inside look on the candidates you’re considering.
Don’t let the idea of hiring your next employee intimidate you. Today’s ever-changing job climate makes it critical for candidates to start paying attention to how they’ll display common soft skills during the interview. At the same time, hiring managers need to be aware of these important skills and understand how to look for and assess such skills before hiring takes place. Without bringing awareness to these tips while looking for soft skills, you’ll never know how to find them as a hiring manager. There are plenty of ways to ensure potential candidates are the right addition to the company during the interview process. Keep these suggestions in mind the next time you need to fill a position.