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Interview to get the Right Person for the job … use the START method


Once in a while, or perhaps on a regular basis, you are part of the Interview panel to spot talent for the organisation. It is sometimes a monotonous job role, but albeit an important one for the success of the organisation. We feel looking at the interview is the final straw that can lead to great employee selection as a process. We also feel providing some new insights can be of help to uncover the person’s deepest levels of knowledge and competence, in both understanding of the domain and their behavior that is important for the VMV and the cultural fitment. 

Your first impression of a thing sets up your subsequent beliefs. ~ Daniel Kahneman  Nobel Prize Winner

It is important not to be swayed by the attire or the cultural background of the employee with highly accented regional dictions, unless the person needs to represent the brand and doesn’t fit into the image or doesn’t sound like it.

While sitting on the panel and seeing the candidate first time leads the brain into two thoughts; the first is conjuring and mirroring the face and pattern with the first known person; this leads to a bias in assuming the skills, competence and behavior or the person in resonance or contrast to the image in your head mirroring him/her.

Second, as you draw up similarities, we use cognitive bias to reinforce and find pointers how we can convince ourselves that both have the same nature and attributes. This is rarely true and is a big cause for bias at the workplace. We can see this often happen when a new boss comes over and meets their team the first time; conjuring up images and findings elements that connect can lead us to completely barking up the wrong tree.

The second important thing to remember as an interviewer is to keep clue on non-verbal cues that the candidate sends. 

  • How firm was the handshake?  
  • Was s/he smiling while entering or dishevelled and worried?
  • Are they in formals or in a semi-formal attire?
  • Do they look curious? Or relaxed? Are they constantly shifting themselves?
  • Are you looking in the eye or glossing over the CV as they speak? 

Non-verbal communication comprises more than 90% of the entire communication and provides excellent cues about their mental frame and behavioral priorities and exhibited tendencies. Read them carefully. Reach out to us to train your team on understanding and interpreting non-verbal cues during an interview.

Next, do not take an interview if you have another meeting or event lined up and need to rush through. Organisations like Google conduct 4-5 rounds of interviews to ascertain role and  cultural fitment. It is these employees that are going to run the show and expand the organisation into newer frontiers of growth and enrichment; it is not a task to hurry about.

Finally, try and excuse yourself as an interviewer if the person is going to directly report to you. A huge amount of cultural and linguistic bias steps in while selecting your own team. Ask the person you most adore as a Team Leader to be a part of the interviewing process; you can return the favour whenever they have a hiring and interviewing role

“The idea of speech as an indication of consistent patterns of behavior is, of course, not by any means new. The whole matter of Freud’s The Psychopathology of Everyday Life is full of links between what we say and our underlying attitude and behavioral tendency.”

We at PexiScore advocate the  method of effective structured interviewing. We shall explain that in a bit. First let’s understand the paradox of interviewing skills.

Why are you interviewing ? To hire employees.

Why you need to hire? To build skill capabilities.

Why need skill capabilities? To ensure growth.

How to ensure growth? QTM factor

People who contribute to even one of the factors of quality, time or money is good for hiring as an employee. And that is what you hire for. If you can find all of them in one person, it’s a troika! But that is a rare phenomenon. People can focus on either providing their time, bring in money or ensuring quality, the three pillars that summarizes an organizational success story. Add Leadership to that and you are poised for true success, whatever the market situation or economy.

 It is hence of essence for any recruiter or interviewer to search for these deliverables in the candidate, within the ambit of the values that the organization espouses

Now that we have discovered what we need to search in a candidate, let’s find out how to approach it in a structured way without falling prey to the innumerable distractions that gets presented during an interview.

We have discovered the 8 most common distractors and listed them below;

  • Specific before general
  • Internal before external 
  • Current before historical 
  • Time efficiency 
  • Open-ended questions 
  • Interviewer to counselor approach 
  • Networking approach
  • Relationship/cognitive bias

Most candidates showcase a lot of creativity during interviews while explaining their potential worth as a STAR — ( Situations | Tasks | Action | Results ). The same can be mapped to the three C’s of creativity, connecting and contradictions but the entire scenario expressed can be a hoax. Hence we recommend  START© to assess the interviewee.

START© method of interviewing

 The START © method looks at the issue of understanding the interviewee from the standpoint of contribution towards the QTM factor as a member of the organisation. This can be understood either from past performance (historical data) or understanding the cognitive threshold of the interviewee and their anchors and biases.

As it is difficult to validate under the STAR method of structured interviewing, START© provides a better start in assessing and gauging the employee potential in contributing towards QTM.

  • S – Science | higher logical temperament for cognitive processing
  • T – Technology | technical processes for job role evaluation
  • A – Arts | the human approach towards self & team management
  • R – Relationships | insights into relational mirroring
  • T – Tactics | turning insights into opportunities

Every interview requires an understanding of the interviewee’s mental ability to deal with complexity, logic of reasoning and how they approach the entire problem as a key to QTM potential. General understanding of the use of above listed domains are a must for executing a good performance beyond pure domain knowledge. This has been observed in inventors, sportspersons, artists, researchers, leaders, e ntrepreneurs and business tycoons who are well-versed in use and application of the START© factors in their job role. Understanding of these factors reduce collaborative dependence, and showcase higher innovation or handling crises and challenges using behavioral and technical questions using the START© method.

Ask an interviewee a domain-related situational question and observe START© based emphasis.  The responses should focus of if they lead to any one of the QTM factor.  Check for 3C’s and violation of any of the components in the responses. 

Candidate responses would be using more of a certain factor of the START© factors, showcasing a higher inclination. The 3C is to be used to find if they are more Creative, Connecting or Contradicting of logic and theory during the response.

A candidate with creative response would be innovative in approach, while a connecting approach shows higher use of logic and contradicting is lack of being able to deal with complexity.

Tactics help in understanding factors for better quality, reduction of time or saving costs or increasing revenues while offering their viewpoints. This does not require high domain knowledge for the interviewer but rather good native or common intelligence to understand when the interviewee is building a strong case for potential QTM solutions for the workplace and the job role. 

START© can be used for interviewing candidates for Sales, Engineering, Pharma, Accounting, Management, Marketing, Leadership, Research, Manufacturing, Arts or even Academic Job roles to assess candidate potential for the job role in an unbiased and scientific manner.  PexiScore Assessments can make an organisation focus on improving capability for achieving growth.

This is a learning series from PexiScore on Hiring. We hope you enjoy reading it as much as we enjoyed creating it, specially for you.  Write to us at / call +91 73496 62320 to learn more about effective hiring or book a training with us.

#culturalfitment #humanresource #careerguidance #jobroles #hiring #management

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