The Outside-In® Interview

January 12th, 2011

Employers invest heavily in the costs and resources that are necessary to have the right people in the right role at the right time. Lately, friends and clients have begun to re-examine their hiring processes. It makes sense to me – there are more openings, more phone screens and more interviews taking place. This is a great time to look at your process.
Most of us interview as a part of the hiring process. It does not guarantee a good hire; nothing does. But it is considered a standard part of how we evaluate talent. Many organizations make the mistake of interviewing for a match of skills and experiences alone. That is critically important, but frankly, a computer or clerk can make this kind of match. Most ask questions that are technical in nature hoping to determine whether a candidate meets a minimum standard for the role. But where is the opportunity for improvement in our hiring success? Try interviewing for culture fit. Your staff and your candidates will love it. And it works.
CBI Group Core Values At CBI Group we consider ourselves a culturally led business. We have firmly established core values. In addition to the technical questions, we ask situational questions relating to our culture. To find the right people, we must determine if candidates are a good culture fit by asking the right questions.
For example, we know working in a fast-growing, small business is unique. To recognize whether a contender can handle the pace, we ask questions like, “talk about the differences you have in working with small and large business?” As we listen to the answers, we look for people who understand that small business gives you a voice and an opportunity to develop different skills and experiences than big business offers. We want a staff that appreciates the breadth and depth that small business jobs tend to offer.
Culture-based interviewing does not guarantee a successful hire and our example may not necessarily align to your values. So take a look at your values and examine your process. Develop situational questions and add them to your evaluation of talent. If you don’t know where to start, take a look at our Cultural Questions by downloading this PDF. Adding a cultural approach to hiring will be a terrific team building exercise and as a leader, you will experience true alignment. By making your culture part of your hiring process, 2011 will not only be the year you begin to hire again – but you will hire a little better than you did last time!

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