From calming a bag of nerves to avoiding cliched questions, interviewing is not an easy process. But it’s still the best shot most employers have at finding new employees.
To ensure that he gets the most out of interviews, Rod Lloyd, Managing Director of Neath based company Low Cost Vans, also uses psychometric testing as part of the process.
If a candidate gets through the first interview, they’ll be contacted before their second interview and asked to complete a 45 minute online psychometric test at home. Then when meeting at the second interview, the candidates’ results are revealed, forming part of the interview discussion. Rod explains how this helps:
“We go into the second interview with an extra amount of insight. If the test says that the person is competitive for example, we have a reason to ask them questions around this. And often the tests will reveal character traits that candidates aren’t consciously aware of, so we all end up finding out more about them. We’ve also never had anyone say that the results aren’t correct”.
Is it a risk though to rely on a multiple-choice test when choosing your next rising star?
“The test isn’t the be all and end all, you have to be objective and look at it in relation to everything else.”
In addition to this, any candidates that complete the test by always going for the middle ‘don’t know’ option, will have their test disqualified. And along with the results, interviewers are given questions to help them probe further around the character traits revealed in the tests.
In a business where there are a range of different roles including sales, administration and marketing, the personality and skillset required for each role is very different. To help ascertain whether a candidate is the best match, Rod will often compare the psychometric profile of a high performer in the company to the interview candidate.
This approach often reveals how to get the best out of new employees too, explains Rod.
“We interviewed one guy a few years ago for a sales role. His psychometric test showed many traits that were the same as our highest sales performer at the time. But the test also suggested that when under a lot of pressure, this guy would probably flap.”
Instead of opting for a different person, the candidate was employed but was situated in the office next to very calm people, who would help diffuse rather than encourage any drama.
A few years later, Rod says that only South American pan music could make that corner of the officer, where the ‘new’ sales person sits, any calmer. And if that member of staff were to do a psychometric test now, it would likely have quite different results, as they had learnt to cope with different situations more effectively, explained Rod.
At £70 a test, this isn’t necessarily a cheap way to conduct interviews, particularly if there are several people going forth for a second interview. But then again, the tests were introduced after Low Cost Vans had a few ‘costly mistakes’ due to hiring the wrong people.
And was Rod brave enough to do the test?
“Yes I have done it. It basically said I was unemployable – well that I was a leader. I came out slightly to the right of Gengis Khan. However, it did also say that I was fairly easy going. That was interesting to read about as it wasn’t something that I’d consciously been aware of. I think sometimes we’re more aware of our flaws than our positive attributes. Although the tests may seem daunting, they can be surprisingly nurturing.”