Why Skills Assessments Beat Interviews When It Comes to Predicting Job Performance

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No joke but traditional job interviews aren’t up to the job. Leading companies have found smarter ways for candidates to show off their talent. Welcome to the age of skills assessments.

Why they predict on the job performance better :

  1. Recruiters can focus on the ideal candidate
  2. Interviews ignore human evaluation to predict performance
  3. Gone the prepared responses, online assessments let candidates truly show their skills off.

Firstly, the wrong candidates get interviewed

Logic dictates that we don’t get to interview every single candidate. Hence screening came along. A nasty piece of work that allows to systematically eliminate candidates without even checking that they might actually fit the job. Sure we interview if there are just 2 candidates. But if there are 200 then we get around that by just eliminating by getting reasons to do so.

And as for the wonderful, competent and driven candidates who don’t show it on paper, they struggle to get through the door.

True: Interviews do not predict performance

Richard Nisbett, Professor of psychology at the University of Michigan states interviews are totally useless:

“When it comes to choosing a candidate, [traditional] interviews are as much use as flipping a coin.”

We’re just asking candidates to lie so they tell us what we want to hear. Even the best candidates know exactly the questions they’re going to be asked as they’re the same questions day in day out. Such questions as“tell me about a time when”“what are your weaknesses?” and “tell me about your biggest failure in your last job”. It’s utter twaddle.

Are we really able to gauge a candidate’s job performance on the basis of these questions? Can we really claim to really know a candidate from their responses to such silly questions? Or how they’ll behave at work based on their answers to these silly questions? Like their managing pressure or their behavior towards colleagues or building relationships?

Yet many are those who still think interviews can predict performance. Jason Dana, Assistant Professor of management and marketing at the Yale School of Management, in a New York Times article, said that most people adhere to this myth even if subconsciously they know they’re not getting the truth:

“So great is people’s confidence in their ability to glean valuable information from a face to face conversation that they feel they can do so even if they know they are not being dealt with squarely. But they are wrong.”

It simply fails to work.

Candidates want to showcase their talent

Firstly, let’s debunk a myth. Candidates don’t want to be interviewed just for the sake of being interviewed. They actually want to prove their worth to a potential employer – show off their talent. In fact all they get to do in interviews is play along with the game. This involves writing a made-to-impress CV with a hope of getting recruited, only to then sit through boring interviews and end up not really showcasing their brilliance.

How can anyone be it a graphic designer, a sales rep, or a software developer be expected to showcase their talent? Such complex skills cannot be told through mere chatting but have to be seen and their work does the interview instead.

Why skills assessments are better for employers & candidates

Merit matters and that means finding someone who is right for the job. And that means tailoring the recruitment process to the candidate’s real performance, not their made-up one.   

Candidates need to face the situations they will encounter on the job – this is how they will really show their true talent. Simple as.

But here’s the punchline. We need to do that with all candidates, not just the privileged few who get through screening.

This has just gone a step up with skills assessments.

KillerCode’s skills assessments are an online job audition where candidates can show off their talent. They’re similar to job trials where a preferred candidate is invited to work with a potential employer for a few days. But they can be scaled simultaneously to cater for hundreds, or even thousands, of candidates within equal conditions.

If we make showcasing of skills and attitude the focus of the recruitment process, employers can stop guessing and really predict who will do a fantastic job. Meanwhile, the candidates can stop playing the game of resumés and interviews and show their true selves and better still, what they can offer a potential employer.