Job interviews are not as reliable or revealing as many people believe. Candidates who ace their interviews and flaunt impressive resumes quite often prove to be poor fits for the companies that so eagerly hire them. There are a number of reasons for that, but pre-employment testing can make up for all the most common causes of such problems.
Interviews Alone are Simply Not Enough
The job interview is actually a fairly recent invention. Long apprenticeships and professional connections used to be enough to ensure that businesses would have a good idea about each candidate’s background, capabilities, and personality.
With so many people changing jobs regularly today, another approach is clearly in order. Job interviews consistently let employers down even when those interviews might seem to be going as hoped. It quite often makes more sense to supplement interviews with pre-employment assessments than to rely on interviews alone for a number of reasons, such as:
- Usage of professional career coaching skills is on the rise, particularly among professionals aiming for highly competitive positions. Experienced interview coaches have seen every situation and trick and can teach their students to respond perfectly. In many cases, what job interviews actually end up measuring is how well candidates prepared for such occasions. That might demonstrate some commitment, but it can hardly be expected to correspond well to on-the-job performance.
- Interviews rarely do even a cursory job of reflecting how a given job seeker will feel and function on an everyday basis. Candidates and interviewers alike generally feel stiff and awkward even when an interview hews closely to the nature of the available position. As with the various problems related to coaching, the artificiality of the average interview makes it a poor predictor of future results. Despite
- tens of millions being hired annually
- few interviews ever feel natural.
- Some candidates cruise through interviews solely because of their personalities. Many others struggle with even the least-adversarial formal interview processes. Unfortunately, the quirks that produce such results rarely reveal much about a person’s suitability for a particular position. Interviewers bring their own personalities to each meeting, and that can make for difficulties, as well.
- Even carefully crafted interview scripts rarely unearth much of actual interest. For all the reasons above and many others, what matters most about candidates tends to remain concealed even after interviews have been conducted. Some companies require candidates to run a gauntlet of extensive interviews but rarely end up learning anything of value. Most interviews are simply too superficial to produce any worthwhile information.
A Fast-Accelerating Shift Toward Pre-Employment Testing
While the drawbacks and weaknesses of job interviews are clear, there is a simple solution. Supplementing interviews with carefully designed, scientifically grounded pre-employment testing always produces a much more comprehensive and accurate picture of each candidate.
The reason for this is that the right type of testing can address each of the widely recognized deficits of interviewing. Coaching is of minimal value when testing that covers natural aptitude is incorporated into each battery. Even if tests are inherently artificial, the characteristics they measure can be rigorously tied to real, important performance-impacting traits.
While some valuable tests are subjective, personality does not play a role in determining whether a candidate passes or fails. Finally, pre-employment tests can easily highlight characteristics that inherently superficial interviews could never bring out.
As a result, more and more companies are making heavier use of pre-employment testing, and sometimes even emphasizing interviews less as they do so. Testing candidates quite often proves to be a far more effective way to identify those who truly deserve job offers.