Preparing for the Performance-Based Interview


Job Interviewee's Loud AnnouncementWhen determining if a candidate is the right fit for a position, traditional interview techniques often derail an interviewer and prevent them from learning critical information about a potential new hire. Yet many hiring managers stick with the traditional interviewing script that doesn’t result in acquiring the most relevant information from the candidate.

Alternatively, candidates are often too nervous and stressed to present the most qualified version of themselves in an interview. With this information in mind, Lou Adler, CEO of The Adler Group, offers an alternative to the traditional interview in the form of performance-based interviewing… with a twist.

Adler suggests trying a seemingly crazy interview technique: give your candidates the questions before the interview.

How do you prepare for this kind of interview?

Initially, having all of the questions handed to you before an interview might seem akin to finding the answer key before a major test. While this type of performance-based interview does provide a unique opportunity to showcase your talents, thorough preparation is key. The hiring manager will be 100% focused on your responses, so it’s important to provide details and avoid generic answers. Let’s consider best practices for each of the eight steps involved in this interview process:

Step one: During this introductory phase of the interview, you’ll be expected to provide a brief overview of your background. Remember: the key is brevity. You’ll have the opportunity later to expand on your accomplishments, but take this time to explain how the culmination of all of your skills and expertise has led you here, to this specific opportunity, and the position continues your professional growth.

Step two: Be engaged in the interview process. Don’t be so focused on your rehearsed answers that you forget to interact with the hiring manager. Lean forward in your chair and give no more than two-minute answers to each question during this step.

Step three: At this point in the interview, the hiring manager will review your work history. If you have any gaps in your resume, be ready to explain them. You can also showcase your career awards and promotions. Focus on your progression over time by highlighting increased responsibilities and augmentation of skills.

Step four: Now’s the time to focus on your major accomplishments. Use the STAR Method of interviewing to talk about your situation, task, action, and results of your work. Be prepared to discuss how your major accomplishments contributed to your professional growth.

Step five: Answering the job-specific problem-solving question. This question will look different for every industry and department, but might be presented in this format: “In this position, we encounter [specific challenge] a lot. How would you resolve an issue like this?” A savvy candidate typically responds to this question with more questions, to arm themselves with enough information to give an expert opinion. Ask any relevant questions that would help frame your response, even if you already had one prepared.

Step six: As you near the end of the interview, take the time to ask some meaningful questions. Consider asking about the most challenging aspect of the job, why the position is currently open or what type of person they’re looking to hire.

Step seven: At the end of the interview, ask the hiring manager for feedback. Inquire about the next steps in the hiring process or the ideal time-line to fill the position. Without sounding overly aggressive or too passive, tell the manager why you’re interested in the role.

Step eight: After your interview, take time to reflect. How does this particular role compare to others that you’re pursuing? Would accepting this job be a smart career move?



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