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

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September 2019
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interview

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.

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Reflections on School Leavers’ Fortnight

Posted by: Alex Linley & Nicky Garcea, as part of School Leavers’ Fortnight

 

Over the last two weeks on The Capp Blog, we have focused on helping school leavers tackle some of the big questions they face as they consider moving into the world of work or undertaking future study.

 

Our blog topics over the course of School Leavers’ Fortnight have taken in topics including:

  • Employability – what it is and how to demonstrate it
  • How to differentiate yourself so that you stand out on an application form
  • Insights into the mind of an interviewer and tips for interview technique
  • How to help students and young people spot their strengths and apply them to their choices about future courses and careers.

 

We hope you have enjoyed reading the blogs and – more importantly – that they have helped you to help the students and young people you know who are grappling with these challenges at this stage of their lives.

 

A recurrent theme throughout our advice over this fortnight has been the importance of helping people to know, understand and maximise their strengths. For this, nothing is better than Realise2, Capp’s online strengths assessment and development tool.

 

If you want to help a young person find their right direction in life, you would be well advised to give them the most powerful gift of strengths. This is what Student Careers and Skills have been doing at the University of Warwick – and it’s making a real difference.

 

Share your experiences and let us know how you get on by using the Comment function on The Capp Blog below.

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Inside the Mind of the Interviewer

Posted by: Emma Trenier, as part of School Leavers’ Fortnight

 

Interviewers are like everyone else. When they have a long day of interviews ahead of them they feel apprehensive, hopeful, excited and tired. Just like candidates do.

 

Instead of focusing on your fear, focus on how you can best present yourself to your interviewer, the real person, in front of you.

 

From my experience interviewing and working with other assessors, there are three things you should know about us:

 

1. We have short concentration spans. Not all interviewers are exceptional listeners. We find it much easier to listen to the answers of candidate when they are well structured and include strong examples. When you provide all the facts about an example without us needing to ask multiple follow up questions, you make it so much easier for us – and so you’re more likely to impress.

 

2. We want to meet the real you. Interviews often run back-to-back and can be draining for interviewers. We are waiting to meet the candidates who reveal their true personalities. It provides a welcome break to see their passions, motivation and energy coming across. We are hoping to meet candidates who are right for the role and right for the organisation.

 

3. We are imagining how you will fit in. As we meet each candidate, as interviewers we are thinking about how you will fit in with the company. It helps enormously when you show that you understand the company’s values, vision and purpose and show commitment towards these.  

 

In an interview, there are many things that you can’t control. You can’t be sure of the questions you will be asked, what the interviewer will be like, how many other applicants there will be, or indeed how good they will be.

 

There are, however, a number of things that are within your control: your self-awareness, preparation, and ability to talk clearly about yourself for a start.

 

As you prepare to meet your interviewer, human to human, my top tips are:

 

1. Make it Clear Why You. Clarify the three things that stand out most about you as a candidate – the three things that you want the interviewer to remember. As you approach your interview, whatever style of interview it is, be sure to get these three things across.

 

2. Showcase your Strengths. Identify your strengths using Capp’s Realise2 strengths assessment (www.realise2.com) and practice talking about them confidently. This will help you describe yourself richly rather than using too many clichés.

 

3. Get Feedback. Boost your confidence by asking people who you trust what your best features are and why they would employ you. This way you will be sure that you are speaking truthfully and will feel more authentic describing your credentials.

 

4. Use the STAR Technique. When you give examples, remember ‘STAR’. Describe the Situation (the context), the Task (what you had to do), your Actions (the part you personally played) and the Result (what you achieved). This will make it easy for the interviewer to gather all the facts that they need about you.

 

5. Let your Body Talk. Be aware of the clues your body language is giving away. Make sure you give a good firm handshake, maintain eye contact and refrain from foot tapping, hair twiddling and putting your hands behind your head!

 

6. Ask Questions. Always come prepared with three questions to ask the interviewer. Most interviewers will give you the chance to ask questions and this is your chance to engage the interviewer in discussion, showing that you have thought carefully about this in advance.

 

So, with your interview looming, put your fear to one side, and take control. Remember that the preparation you do in understanding and talking about your strengths, motivations and experience will not be in vain.

 

You are the real you, after all!

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