Numerous studies prove it: The job interview is proven to be the weakest instrument in personnel selection - and yet the most widespread. Hardly any Candidate takes up his new position without an interview. Learn how to decision for the right one Candidates get closer without just listening to your gut feeling.

Michael Lorenz_Professional job interviews

Blisters instead of x-ray

Most of us believe that in the course of their professional career, they acquire a more accurate look for employees and their peculiarities with increasing experience.

Unfortunately, science speaks one here clear another language: It really only applies to very few people. Therefore, we must look for other ways to improve the predictive quality of our interview procedures.

In this article, I would like to break down the 1×1 of interviewing for you step by step. I have 8 for that Regulate set up:

Rule no. 1: Define framework conditions

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It is a difference, whether on Tuesdays early in the morning to an unsympathetic candidate or on Friday evening a sympathetic candidate to oppose.

Try to create uniform, or at least comparable, conditions for your interviews.

Rule no. 2: Give the interview structure

Structure helps. It represents (provided that we also stick to it) a significant help in terms of not allowing too extreme differences in the way of conducting the interview.

What you need is a guide that is specifically formulated Ask contains that you can ask applicants in your interviews. In this way you achieve a good degree of standardization and comparability of your selection interviews.

Rule no. 3: Many eyes see more

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Try it once: The candidate completes, for example, five shorter interviews in a row with five interviewers and each of the interviewers shares after that Conversation only his or her hiring or rejection decision, there is no agreement between the interviewers.

It has been proven that you achieve significantly better values ​​in this way than with the much-vaunted "four-Eyes-principle”, which often doesn't seem right, because two of the four eyes don't quite work that way I aufmerksam are and then a lot Energy is raised to "pray the candidates well" - i.e. to present the visible deficits as still acceptable.

Even if you do not do five interviews, try three of them. They receive as a reward for the effort already a much better accuracy.

Rule no. 4: Specify a reference frame

Is 230 Volts Lots or Little Voltage? Right to answer this question, you need reference values ​​or a frame of reference. And that's just the way we want to make useful statements about the motivations, characteristics, behaviors and levels of experience of potential employees.

We need a scheme or model for evaluation. I recommend that you use a human model. There is a light manageable and yet very accurate human model for use in personnel selection decisions.

Rule No. 5: Make a hypothesis

A closer look makes it easier for you to set up hypotheses. My basic rule when selecting personnel is (with all the friendliness to advertise): “Not you”. It is “You don’t” because candidates who sit across from me always start with an empty “points account” and then, in the course of the interview, give me theirs Competencies  can convey and I falsify or verify my "hypotheses".

Rule no. 6: Language is not everything

Leaving, as always, the purely linguistic level. Many competences and skills must be available so that a new employee can actually become the pillar of success. Try to capture as many different competences as possible in the interview.

That means: not only record verbal impressions in the interview, but based on the most real, practical ones Everyday life removed Tasks requesting a "work sample" from the candidates, of course adjusted depending on their competence and level of experience difficult. That can be a professional Presentation, working on a case study or the Solution a mailboxexercise be. Good candidates have none at all Problem with it and use the examples you provided to gain insights into what you and the potential new Company busy at the moment.

Rule No. 7: Enter the applicant's “forest of meaning”

This rule is the most difficult, although it is quite simple. At incredible speed we label, sortieren enter and rate. With that we usually have more about our own view of the World experienced than how the candidate sees them.

So it's not her Art, to ask 300 incoherent questions in the interview, but the much more meaningful one Information arises when we recognize why the candidate is doing or has done this or that. What we learn about him from this topic – how he changed, through this and that event…

Rule no. 8: Do not bring the candidates to the hang

If you ask questions that candidates cannot really answer (because they lack too much information for a reasonable answer), we force the candidate to make a fabulous statement. Our feeling then tells us that he actually did not give a clear answer to our question, in the evaluation after the interview we rated him as "smooth and a little wobbly".

We overlook the fact that it was our nature of the question that caused the candidate to somehow have to try to “fetch” an answer in the “fog of possibilities” so as not to have to say “stupid question, next please”. So only try to ask questions from a context that the candidate knows from his own experience. With a little practice, it becomes increasingly easier for you to embed your hypothesis that you are testing into the context of the applicant.


If you take these rules into account during the interview, you are much closer to the decision for the right candidate. You will find out how to give your interviews the necessary structure in the following article.

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