So a job candidate told you everything you could ever dream of hearing during a recent job interview, but does that mean they're going to be the best hire your company has ever seen? Probably not – in reality, there's little proven correlation between interview and job performance.
Laszlo Bock, senior vice president of people operations at Google, explained to The New York Times that his company conducted research to determine whether or not a solid interview boded well for future job performance. He broached the subject after he was asked how important Big Data is to management. Bock, in relating his story about the study conducted by Google, raised the point that while important, data analytics isn't everything, and that, in some cases, such as hiring, a gut decision may work out better than one based on the numbers.
"You can't quantitatively measure everything, including interviews."
You can't measure interviews effectively
You can't quantitatively measure everything, and according to Bock's explanation of Google's study, interview performance is one of those immeasurable things. At the tech giant, researchers poured over tens of thousands of interviews, everyone who had spoken with the job candidates, how the individuals performed and what their eventual job performance looked like. Ultimately, these researchers found that there was absolutely zero correlation between interview performance and how the individual later carries his or herself in the position.
In fact, only one connection was found between someone's performance in an interview and their job performance, mainly since the interview consisted of technical questions for a highly specialized field.
The best option is behavioral interviewing
The best kinds of interviews are behavioral. These sort of interviews utilize open-ended questions to gather facts about what the individual has done in the past as opposed to knowing what he or she will do in the future. If anything can elicit a portrayal of future job performance, it is the behavioral interview. This sort of questioning ensures that candidates can't provide prefabricated answers. Interviewees are instead forced to delve into their histories for more detailed responses to the questions asked. This reduces candidates' opportunities to fake answers, and tells you more about who they are and how they might act in the future.
You can speak with someone who knows the answers to all the typical questions and come away with a great impression. Sure the candidate was able to list three weaknesses with ease, tell you how many golf balls can fit in an airplane and describe to you his or her potential if given the job, but what does that mean? This person still might not have been a winner prior to walking into the building, and that probably won't change after the interview.
It's hard to correlate how someone performs during an interview for a top finance job, and how the same person will handle him or herself on the job. The best way for determining this is to start utilizing behavioral interview questions, rather than the traditional ones such as "Can you name your biggest flaw?" This way, you'll force the candidate to tell you who he or she really is.