Capp’s five-step approach to strengths-based recruitment

Click here to find out more about how Strengths Selector can solve your recruitment challenges...

Subscribe by Email

Enter your email address:


 Subscribe in a reader

October 2019
M T W T F S S
« Aug    
 123456
78910111213
14151617181920
21222324252627
28293031  

competency-based interview

What is a Strengths-based Interview (SBI)?

Posted by: Celine Floyd, Managing Psychologist, Capp

 

So you’re an interviewer and it’s your 8th interview of the day. Your 8th ‘probe’ into generic ‘communication’ and ‘team work’. Your 8th ‘Duke of Edinburgh’ example. The candidates’ answers have been ‘reeled off’, and you just can’t tell if you really ‘believe it’. They looked good on paper, and they sound good.

 

But ARE they good? You still can’t tell if they are the right fit for your organisation. You would love to know what they are really passionate about, and what is really special about them. You look at your interview script and feel that sense of despair – you know that with these questions you are never going to really get to know the candidate in front of you.

 

A sad story, for you, and for them.

 

We feel your pain. In fact many of Capp’s consultants started life in the design, training and delivery of competency-based interviews. Until we saw the opportunities of the strengths-based interview (SBI)!

 

Used by major employers including Nestle, Ernst & Young, Barclays, Standard Chartered Bank, Harris + Hoole, Birmingham City Council and Thomson Reuters, strengths-based interviews are changing the face of interviewing for the better. But what actually is an SBI?

 

An SBI is an interview that is all about understanding what someone LOVES to do, as well as CAN do. It’s not just the assessment of what a candidate is competent at, but ALSO, looks to understand what they are passionate about, which activities and working environments give them energy, and what they are motivated by.

 

Essentially it is the rigorous assessment of  the candidate’s strengths and thereby their fit with the role. Capp are the developers of the SBI, and it can take many forms: 20 mins to 2 hours;  face-to-face, telephone or video; delivered and managed by us, or we can train you directly.

 

Whatever the format though, the following is always true:

 

  • The SBI involves more questions than a competency-based interview. In a 20 minute interview you might easily cover 8-10 questions, and in a typical hour long interview, you might ask up to 30 questions.
  • The questions are more ‘rapid fire’; asked in quick succession one after the other around a variety of different areas.
  • There is no probing into the candidate’s answers – how much they tell you is up to the candidate, and this in itself is one of the strongest signals of whether something is a strength for someone.
  • The questions will be a mixture of open, closed, hypothetical, and past.
  • You assess for ‘how’ someone answers a question (the body language, and tone of voice), as well as the ‘what’ someone is telling you.

 

So yes, you can throw out that competency interview rule book! It may sound ‘left field’ but when our SBI delivers results like a 50% drop in attrition, a 39% reduction in cost per hire, a 15% increase in de-selection, a customer satisfaction increase by 14.5% and a sickness absence reduction by 4.1% it is difficult to argue.

 

You can see why so many organisations are making the move to using the SBI. Join them and make pre-prepared answers and frustrating interviews a thing of the past.

 

The best way to really understand what an SBI is all about, is to see it in action – if you are a major employer, please contact us at capp@cappeu.com to experience a free demonstration.

 

In the meantime, though, look out for our next two blogs which will share what an SBI feels like from the perspective of both the interviewer and the candidate.

 

Share and Enjoy

  • LinkedIn
  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • Delicious
  • Digg
  • StumbleUpon
  • Add to favorites
  • Email
  • RSS

From Competencies to Strengths: A Personal Journey

Posted by: Jamie Betts, Principal Consultant, Capp

 

Perhaps the most remarkable thing about strengths-based assessment is that no-one thought of it sooner. But ten years ago when I was starting my career, competencies where ‘the big thing’, while strengths-based assessment was a mere glint in the eye of a few ‘crazy’ academics.

 

A lot can happen in a decade. Looking back on our unshakeable faith in the effectiveness of competencies now, it looks like a hazy and confused dream. Competencies became an article of faith, upon which no criticism would be brooked. Line managers huffed and puffed, feeling restricted and frustrated by competency-based interviewing and its endless probes.

 

OK, line managers said, so someone has done something in the past – that doesn’t mean they enjoyed doing it, won’t that impact performance? But we didn’t listen. We didn’t care – we’d seen some old research that competency-based assessment worked, and we’d be damned if we were going to be told otherwise.

 

Well, that was then. And much has changed. The saturation of competency-based questioning, and the tendency of organisations to all measure the same half dozen core competencies, led to the ridiculous situation where candidates reeled off fully rehearsed answers before you’d even finished the question.

 

Any candidate who understood the format, or had been coached in any way by a careers service, was going to simply reel off the examples – collaboration, working well under pressure, dealing with change…

 

And so, what started as a well-intended assessment approach (to measure people based on their past behaviour) descended into farce. Interviewing became a bizarre ritualistic act. Candidates felt frustrated at being cornered by specific past-behavioural questioning and a barrage of probes.

 

They lied, they acted, they rehearsed – passing a competency-based interview became a measure of how convincingly you could reel off the same half dozen stories without sounding too bored. It didn’t really matter if the stories were true or not, since you had plenty of time to rehearse them in your head and cover your bases when the inevitable probes came your way.

 

Thank God, then, for strengths. Just at the moment when the thought of another competency-based interview had some of us reaching for the valium, along came a methodology that just… made sense. Line managers got it. Candidates loved it. And assessment experts breathed a huge sigh of relief.

 

Strengths are the future of assessment. They synergy of ‘can do’ and ‘love to do’ leads to peak performance. And as competencies start to fade into the twilight, please allow a few of us to break open the champagne  – after thousands of competency-based interviews, we deserve it.

 

Share and Enjoy

  • LinkedIn
  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • Delicious
  • Digg
  • StumbleUpon
  • Add to favorites
  • Email
  • RSS

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.

Share and Enjoy

  • LinkedIn
  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • Delicious
  • Digg
  • StumbleUpon
  • Add to favorites
  • Email
  • RSS