What Would You do for Your Next Job?

The interview process seems to be changing for a few companies, as they start to look at their candidates from a different perspective. Traditionally, an interview is held in person one on one, serious and the big sell. But a new trend seems to be appearing, with some companies, and the results are seemingly successful.

Traditional Interviews

During the interview process, many candidates find themselves under a great deal of pressure, to be the best candidate possible. I have been one of the biggest supporters of helping job candidates research, practice and prepare for their interviews. We have touched on sample interview questions you may encounter and how best to answer. But when you are sitting in that chair, in front of your potential new employer, do you find yourself stretching the truth a bit about your skill set? Telling the whole truth about yourself in a job interview may mean losing a position to a better-qualified candidate. But the alternative — lying about your qualifications or experience, inevitably will come back to haunt you.

Or as you sit in the chair in front of your interviewer, are you being judged, not on your talent and capabilities, but on your appearance, or the tone of your voice? Here are some alarming, but true factors that fall into play during interviews.

  • People who are good looking tend to be evaluated as being more competent, intelligent, and qualified than their less attractive colleagues, despite not being objectively better at any of these things.
  • People who are taller tend to be evaluated as having more leadership skills than their shorter counterparts. The same results also held for women, though the effect was not as large. Also, decades of data have revealed a clear relationship between height and salary at every age.
  • People who speak with a deeper or lower-pitched voice are viewed as possessing greater strength, integrity, and trustworthiness.

Chances are you’ve probably been interviewed by someone who might look at those traits, over your real talent. The research suggests that we can’t help being swayed by these factors, and they affect the way you are viewed in your interview.

Companies are beginning to realize these factors may be playing into the one-on-one interview process and providing obstacles to finding the best candidate for the job. So a few companies are trying a new approach to finding the best fit for their company. But are you willing to be a part of these new interview techniques?

Here are some new and fun ways companies are evaluating their perspective candidates.

Challenge them before you choose to interview.

There is a search engine company called Quixey, in Mountain View, CA, that has a game on its website for potential hires, called the Quixey Challenge. Would-be candidates register for a ‘work’ challenge on the web site. If they can fix the challenge’s programming bug in less than a minute, they win $100 and a chance to interview with the company.

Play a game.

HalloweenCostumes.com asks prospective hires to play a game of Jenga with their potential managers and co-workers. You know, the game where building blocks are removed from a structure until it collapses, seems to help the group break the ice. Each block has an interview question on it, which opens up discussion and allows the team to see how they get along before the candidate is hired.

The Audition.

It makes sense. Musicians, actors and singers have to audition. They want to see them play their instruments, and perform. Doesn’t it make sense to audition a prospective employee for the same reasons, before they sign an offer letter?

For example, if the position you are interviewing for is a sales rep, you may be brought in for a few hours to sell members of the company team on their product. Or if you are applying to become their Web designer, you may be asked to design a landing page as your audition. In either case, the first impression will be based on seeing you do your job, rather than how well you’re answering your scripted questions, or whether you are tall or short or how your voice sounds.

Skype Chat and Text-only interviews.

One company conducts interviews via text, Skype chats or instant messaging. They don’t know the gender or ethnicity of anyone they interview that way. The HR department says they see only the words on the screen as a form of communication. They say they are looking for passion and cultural fit. Of the people who make it to the final interview, 95 percent get a job offer. This is a testament to the effectiveness of their approach.

While traditional interviews certainly aren’t going away any time soon, new ways to approach interview process are being tried more often. There might be auditions or games to play before a more serious approach is taken. Are you ready to show your personal and work skills in a unique interview?  It is a way for you to really show who you are.

Categories: Job Tips with Phil Blair