Companies should provide alternative interview methods
Job interviews are a nerve-wracking trial for everyone involved. However, are they actually the best way to decide who to employ? Only so much can be learnt about a person in the space of twenty minutes and a traditional interview may not demonstrate many of the skills required in the job. Many extremely employable people with disabilities that affect their interview performance are being left out because of the inflexibility of the recruitment process. Alternative methods of interview, such as practical tests or work trials, may be the best answer.
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Doesn't always suit the job.
While almost all jobs require a professional appearance, a dedicated, positive attitude and being able to communicate with other people, most do not require these skills at the same level of intensity as in an interview. Some interview skills, such as talking persuasively in a formal situation, may never be used in a job. Some jobs require skills that cannot be demonstrated in an interview, such as working in an unsupervised environment, working unsociable hours, handling a heavy work load and coping with repetitive work. Where a job requires more of the latter kind of skill and less of the former, a different kind of interview technique should be found.
“A conversation, such as one conducted by a reporter, in which facts or statements are elicited from another.”[[http://www.thefreedictionary.com/interview]]
This need not be formal or educationally thorough. If an employer knows what they require for the job they will be able to assess this through an interview. A fork truck driver will not need to be coherent, though he will need to show past experience in the role. Most manual roles such as this do not require the handing in of a CV but the meeting of people to talk through experience and provide references face to face. Even in the manual world, interviews are successful. Also, employers of such a kind would want people they communicate well with; they will not find this out on a work based assessment. Interviews remain the best way to get to know an employee and assess their employability.
Can't get a realistic impression of a person in such a short space of time.
Interviews usually take around 15 minutes to half an hour, an hour at most. This is not a long enough time to gain an accurate, well rounded impression of a person. A work trial over a few weeks would give the company a chance to see how a person acts in a wider range of different situations. It will also be a more honest picture of the candidate – the candidate cannot put on and hold a persona that is not entirely truthful when they are watched constantly over a long period of time. A very persuasive but dishonest person might be able to get through the process of writing an application form and going for an interview without actually being good at the job, wasting the employer's time.
In many situations, a role needs to be filled quickly and there isn't enough time to test everyone in this way. If a post is very short term, it simply won't be worth the time and hassle. Interviewers should be well trained enough at their job to spot dishonest people.
Unsuitable for employable people with Asperger's Syndrome and similar conditions.
Only 12% of people with Asperger's Syndrome are currently in full time employment (http://www.c-i-c.co.uk/upload/autism%20article%282%29.pdf), despite a much larger proportion being employable in some category or other. In the Opinion Leader online research on adult autism in 2009, most of the volunteers said that their main barrier to employment was interviews. Traditional interviews are not designed for people with Asperger's Syndrome – they involve high levels of stress and social situations with inflexible rules that are difficult enough for people without social and communication difficulties. Factors such as timekeeping and memory are also difficult with some individuals with Asperger's. These difficulties can be met in a workplace but not in the short space of time available between applying for a job and an interview – employers are also generally more co-operative in making adjustments for someone once someone is employed. Many other disabilities affect performance in interviews in ways that can't always be easily adjusted for. Sometimes it is simply easier and more appropriate to offer a work trial or practical test instead.
A good interviewer will be able to account for the effects of a disability in their judgement or tailor an interview for the person, such as asking more literal questions about actual rather than hypothetical problems, leaving more time between questions for answers. Most difficulties in an interview can be worked around by a good employer who shows knowledge and understanding of a disability and actually makes the right adjustments. There is a danger that just replacing the interview with a work trial will be seen as a substitute for actually finding out about the person and their specific needs.
Relies too heavily on vacancy details.
Badly written vacancy adverts are a major problem when recruiting during the recession. The adverts ask for skills that are too specific or unrealistic amounts of experience, putting people off that are capable of doing the job but not a perfect match, or refer to requirements in a way that is badly explained or vague. Interviews are more likely to involve matching the candidate against the list of skills on the vacancy advert whereas a work trial or practical test more directly proves that the person can do the job.
This could just as easily be gotten around with a better vacancy advert or just a better interviewer – matching off skills mechanically is a fairly poor way to conduct an interview anyway.
Would create confusion.
If one employee is tested in one way and another in a different way, their results cannot be easily compared.
The point would be that those who go for similar roles will be tested in a similar way, and therefore the results would be comparable. The argument is not suggesting a different assessment for each candidate based on each candidate’s strengths and weaknesses but a standard assessment based upon the nature of the job at hand. This would mean that what is tested is not merely verbal skills if verbal skills are not needed for the job, instead the employer would gain a greater insight into how the employee would be able to cope with the practical nature of the job.
Misses the point of an interview.
An interview is not supposed to be a complete test in and of itself. It is one stage of recruitment – a kind of formal hearing in which a person has a chance to explain in words why they are eligible for a job. To create the best impression of a person, the interview should be just one stage of a recruitment process that also involves tests and a probation period. For instance, the civil service graduate fast stream has an online application form first, then a series of online tests, then a more formal test at the centre, then an interview.
This would be fine if all the parts of the recruitment process were equally weighted and could be used as a substitute for each other. However, the way it usually works is that all parts of the process need to be passed in turn – so if a person receives the best scores in the test but still cannot pass an interview because of poor interview skills, rather than actual job competency, they will fail the entire recruitment process. In an exam a person with very high grades in one part of a paper but very low grades in another would receive average overall grades - an ideal recruitment process with multiple stages would be like this.
A significant number of studies reveal that the first impression is in fact the last impression
A good interrogating probing peek into a person in the space a few minutes can be more useful than knowing a person for an entire lifetime.
1)The questions are job specific.(so even if you know a person for ten twenty years, if you don't ask those questions you won't know if s/he is right for the job)
quals are about potential where as interview questions are about capability.
2)Confident people have a certain ambience/ambiance, if a person wants a job you can see it from the way s/he strides into the room.
3)It is very clear whether someone is invested, happy with the job environment, can handle what s/he is required to do, how s/he responds to stress, whether s/he is at home with the people interviewing him/her from the interview and so whether s/he is right for the job.
It is fairly easy to be both confident and be incompetent at the job if you are good at blagging. At the same time, you can be perfectly suited to do a job but be unable to express this confidently in an interview.
A job may not require handling large amounts of stress. If a job is tedious, a person who requires this level of excitement might be completely unsuited.
The replacement for an interview would not be just recruiting people you know.
What do you think?