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2 Ways the Traditional Interview Is Getting a Makeover

For many business leaders, the traditional interviewing process has some baggage. Sure, meeting a prospective hire face-to-face is an important step in the talent acquisition process, but the rise in attrition and increased competition for top talent can make even the smoothest interviews seem fraught with time-wasting steps.

With changes such as more casual business environments, the arrival of the gig economy and advances in HR technology, there’s an argument to be made for refining the traditional interview. Below are two aspects HR leaders should consider when updating their own interview process.

Soft focus

In the past, interviews were a space where recruiters could better understand a candidate’s job performance and past roles. There was a tendency to lean heavily on whether or not a candidate had worked for “XY company” in “XY position.” If the candidate had worked in, say, “AB position” or attended “AB school,” they were at a disadvantage. But recently, there has been a shift toward championing a candidate’s soft skills – personal attributes that enable someone to interact effectively with other people, along with assessing their competencies and motivations.

Google, for example, has announced findings from an internal study aimed at determining the most innovative and productive groups within the company. Surprisingly, the best teams weren’t the ones full of top scientists. The highest-performing teams spanned multiple disciplines and greatly benefited from the employees who collaborated well using soft skills.

In a gig economy, many candidates come to an interview with nontraditional work experience. Savvy HR leaders know how to sift through the unorthodox past to find the skills, passion and talent that will propel a company into the future.

Break a leg

Another trend that adjusts the typical interview blueprint is creating job auditions. According to Harvard Business Review, it has become typical for employers to ask candidates to work on a real-life project, or in some other way demonstrate their skills in a tangible manner. Perhaps an interviewer will ask a content creator candidate to write a blog post for the company’s website or to edit a proposal.

Although job auditions catch some criticism for appearing to ask an interviewee to complete a task without pay, some businesses have found that when done right and sparingly, they can provide employers with invaluable insight.

Whether it’s focusing more on soft skills or giving candidates an opportunity to show off their savvy, businesses are shaking up the tried-and-true interview process and reaping the benefits.

About the author
Author picture, Tiffany McGowen
Tiffany McGowen
Tiffany McGowen, Paycom’s Vice President of Recruiting, is responsible for the oversight of staffing corporate headquarters and growing the nationwide sales force. She has more than 10 years of recruiting experience, ranging from executive-level talent to interns, with a specialty in sales professionals. Passionate about motivation, McGowen is constantly on a coast-to-coast hunt for the best and brightest talent in every market.