Boost recruitment success via competency based interviewing

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It is well-known that clever job interviewing techniques can play a crucial part in predicting the likely success of a job candidate, but making use of competency-based interviewing might significantly boost your success rate.

Using a combination of competency based interviewing and reference checks could increase your strike rate to around 60% effectiveness, while adding in psychometric assessment could further boost effectiveness to around 70%, according to advice from a New Zealand HR consultancy.

Competency-based interviews were based on the principle that past behaviour predicts future behaviour and success, Lisa Mackay from HR Toolkit said. “By assessing a candidate’s behaviour in a variety of past situations you should be able to determine how suited they are for your vacancy. These tests can be an important tool to objectively access a candidate’s skills and experience for the job.”

Pre-interview, it was important for the skills and competencies necessary for success in the role in question to be clearly identified and relevant targeted questions to be planned, she said. “Each question needs to target a specific skill or competency for the position that you are trying to fill. For example, for an administration position, the skills required might include quality and accuracy, time management and team work – but, for a management role, you would be more interested in their leadership, negotiating and influencing, and communication skills.”

Each candidate for the role should be asked the same questions in order to make it easier for the interviewer to make an accurate comparison at the end of the interviewing process, Mackay said. When working through the questions, the interviewer should rate each answer using a rating scale, she continued.

“This allows fair comparison of each candidate’s answers by enabling scores for the skills/competencies that each question is assessing. We recommend using a 1-5 rating scale (with 1 meaning “shows little understanding” and 5 meaning “shows excellent understanding”).”


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