Interview or Selection - Myth and Reality

Published by MBA Skool Team, Published on July 30, 2013

Recruitment and selection is the most crucial aspect of human resource management (HRM) practices and its integration to business is critical to achieve organizational strategic goals. However, little research to date, has examined the strategic integration in this specific HR practice.  Therefore little is known about the level and application of recruitment and selection strategy integration in a situation that warrants greater investment due to the economic growth.

Today, India is an emerging  economic power. Through different studies,economists suggest that, it will become one of the leading global economies within the next two decades.The success of the Indian software industry is very instrumental for the global attention, the country receives today. However, this unprecedented growth of the software industry has brought several HRM challenges. Looking at today's scenario it is very tough to make decision on recruitment and selection.

Recruiting and selecting the most appropriate person for the job is a complex task which requires trained staff that is aware of anti discrimination laws and guidelines. HR is fully responsible for the process from attracting the talent pool to giving them the final offer letter. Every organization has its own way of assessing the candidates. They look for different skills in candidates such as communication, working with others, objective / direction setting ,forward thinking ,judgment quality focus  ,customer focus ,achievement orientation etc.

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There are different ways of assessment and selecting the candidates for the job. Although in India, there are some myths like

  • All selection processes must follow an identical set process.
  • The pillars of selection are “application, interview and referees”.
  • Applicants cannot be considered for a job unless they have submitted a lengthy written application specifically addressing each selection criteria.
  • There must be an interview in every selection process
  • Applicants should be asked identical questions in interview and then rated on the basis of  the best answers on the day.

Do you think interview is the only method of selection? If not then why, in almost every industries interview is the only selection methodology. Interviews must be looked  as a discussion used to explore issues specific to the particular applicants, not as a process where one asks a series of  questions and then ‘rate’ the applicants on the quality of their answers. Conducting the interviews in form of ‘discussions’ provides an opportunity for applicants to find out more about the job. In other words interviews should be taken as  an exchange of information where both the panel and candidate get to know about each other.It should not be seen as a test to see who responds best on the day. It may happen the most skillful guy may have a bad day and may not respond. It also can happen that a candidate can camouflage himself/herself and one can't catch his tricks.So interview is not effective in making final decision for selection.

A selection is made only on the basis of merit. Merit includes

  • Knowledge
  • Skills
  • Potential and experience
  • Learning attitude

But interview can assess only 2 -3 components. It can’t assess the learning attitude. It also can’t assess the potential. So what is the use of relying only on interview process?

So, what are the other methods other than interview which can select suitable candidates? Here are some methos listed below:

Think beyond the interview

  • Behavioral interview  vs  Situational interview
  • Computer assisted interviews(a computer screen the candidates based on their responses)
  • Use of integrity test and personality inventories in organisation
  • Use of role play or simulations
  • Ability, knowledge, and performance/work sample tests are sometimes used to select employee

Social networking sites- changing the face of selection practices

  • Social Networking sites  help in selection: Linked In, Facebook,Myspace, twitter etc
  • Employers get a glimpse of the candidate outside the confines of a résumé, cover letter, or interview
  • An easy way to attract the good talents.

Employee referrals- source of better hiring

  • Contribution of referrals in hiring (in percentage )
  • Ratio of Acceptance of offer letter better to that of selected candidate better in referrals
  • Very much useful in recruiting mass number ( experienced) in short span of time
  • Less time consuming

Interviewing the candidate for selecting him is not the problem. The main problem is that many organisations feel that interviewing the candidate is the only criteria for the selection of the candidates. Although they know there are certain different and more efficient methods but they fail to include those methods in their selection process.Why don’t they understand that chances are there that, they might not get the suitable candidates. In this era where there is cut throat competition for retaining the employees, losing a suitable candidate is not less than a crime.

It is a very  critical time for all of the organisations where they are facing the problems of talent crisis , skill gap ,etc. , to understand the root cause of the problem. One can’t get the right talent, until and unless one finds the root cause. If one is not getting the right candidate , how can he think of getting everything right. How can he be assured that there will be no skill gap and talent crisis.If one has to get the skilled people in his organisation, he has to think out of the box. Interviewing the candidate can not be the solution. One has to try other assessment methods.One need to understand that interview is not the only selection method – it is one of the selection methods

This article has been authored by Rishabh Sehgal and Achintya from XIMB


4. A resource-based analysis of recruitment and selection practices of Indian software companies-A case study approach by Pramila Rao

Views expressed in the article are personal. The articles are for educational & academic purpose only, and have been uploaded by the MBA Skool Team.

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