Traditional interviews have always done a reasonable job of assessing if a candidate has the required hard skills like education and accreditations… and they still do for the most part. Unfortunately, traditional interviews fall short in their ability to effectively screen job candidates and assess soft skills like communication, leadership, collaboration and problem skills. Traditional interviews also don't do a good job of being able to predict a candidates future behaviour.

An additional challenge is that individuals (you and I), have more complex needs and more diverse education, experience and talents than people did 30, 40 or 50 years ago. But of course, as employers our current interview challenges don't rest only with the diversity of our job candidates. Our needs and workspaces are also more complex and demanding than ever. On top of that, we have 4 generations currently trying to be hired and doing the interviewing. Yikes!

So to solve the challenges of the traditional interview, new job interview techniques are emerging that assess and quantify soft-skills. Some of these techniques may work better in bigger organizations and some in smaller companies. Four of the new interview techniques that we can use to effectively screen job candidates are as follows:

  1. Online soft-skill assessments: This technique can measure traits like teamwork / collaboration, trustworthiness, adaptability, communication skills, time-management skills, commitment to quality, responsibility, ethics and an appreciation for diversity. I like this technique because it can give a more holistic picture of job candidates personal values and professional values... and the soft-skills assessment can be done as part of a pre-screen and/or part of a main interview process.
  2. Job auditions: In this case candidates are given real work (tasks), to perform so their performance can be observed and their solutions / accuracy can be measured. This technique can also be used as a pre-screen process and/or can also be used after formal interviews in order to assess a short-list of candidates.
  3. Virtual reality (VR): VR is helping companies in many ways… from heavy machinery operation training to the ability for interviewers to assess a potential candidates ability to perform important and required skills. The additional beauty of VR is that it provides a standardized environment that can be assessed and measured. 
  4. On-line real-time interviews: The not so new video interviews have a new(ish) cousin called on-line real-time interviews. In both cases, interviews can be recorded providing a great way to assess and reassess.

It is no surprise to anyone who has worked with me to improve their hiring skills and interview skills that I am a big fan of Behavioural Event Interview (BEI) assessment. Behavioral interviewing is based on the idea that how a job candidate has behaved in the past is the best predictor of how they will behave again in the future. I like the four new job interview techniques because they work perfectly in a BEI environment.

Happy job interviewing. 

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Copyright © 2018 by Bruce Mayhew.


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