Does Your Interview Approach Force Candidates to Lie?
Posted by: Jamie Betts
In this second blog introducing Capp’s Strengths Selector, Jamie Betts explores how the Strengths Based Interview, the third step of Strengths Selector after the Situational Strengths Test, avoids the need to force candidates to lie…
The question may sound a little provocative – why would anyone force candidates to lie in an interview? But it’s more common than you might imagine. The crux of the issue is competency-based past-behavioural questions, i.e., “give me an example of when you have…”, followed by detailed probes.
This interviewing approach is always assumptive and often specific. This isn’t a healthy combination where encouraging honesty is concerned. The questions are assumptive because you are telling a candidate to give you an example of something which may or may not have occurred.
A real-life example a large healthcare firm used was “give me an example of a time when you’ve managed a challenging individual during a period of considerable organisational change”.
The problem with past-behavioural questions is that, if candidates have no experience of the example you request, they are likely to make something up – it’s that, or sit there in silence and fail the interview. Asking detailed probes is essentially ordering a candidate to ‘flesh out’ their lie against their own will.
This isn’t to say that all candidates lie, some may indeed respond that they have never encountered such a scenario – but those that do, only do so because you’ve forced their hand with an assumptive past-behavioural question.
This is one of many reasons why we’ve abandoned the classic competency-based approach to interviewing and seek instead to understand a candidate’s strengths. We believe that candidates shouldn’t be directed to speak at length about behaviours they have no interest in, and are unlikely to display in the workplace.
Our unique approach to strengths-based interviewing represents a positive step-change in how an interview feels to both candidates and assessors alike – and as an added bonus, we don’t force people to lie.
The Strengths Based Interview is the fourth stage of Strengths Selector, Capp’s five-step approach to strengths-based recruitment. Read more about Strengths Selector and the Strengths Based Interview here.
Jamie Betts is a Principal Consultant at Capp.