Why not give the candidate the actual questions you'll be asking before the interview?

Over the years I’ve discovered that few hiring managers properly assess candidates across all job needs. On the other side of the desk, few candidates take matters into their own hands to make sure they’re being assessed correctly. While I addressed this dual problem in The Essential Guide for Hiring & Getting Hired, it’s not enough. This is where I’m going to go radical by suggesting that candidates and interviewers work together using a PowerPoint presentation to guide themselves step-by-step through a fully-validated Performance-based Interview.

The video below provides an overview of the method. It involves giving the candidate a version of this PowerPoint template to structure his or her responses to a series of predefined questions. With the template as a guide, the candidate presents his or her background in a logical sequence ensuring the person is properly assessed against real job needs. This way there will be fewer surprises and more relevant evidence presented regarding ability and job fit. Even better, with the interviewer using detailed fact-finding to validate the answers it’s impossible for the candidate to misrepresent his or her accomplishments.

As you’ll see in the video, the hiring manager or interviewer follows a prepared interview script covering the following eight steps:

  1. Quick share job and review of candidate’s background.
  2. Overcome impact of first impression to increase objectivity.
  3. Review work history looking for the Achiever Pattern.
  4. Dig into major accomplishments looking for comparability and growth.
  5. Assess thinking and planning skills using the job-related problem solving question.
  6. Q&A period for the candidate to ask relevant questions.
  7. Jointly assess career opportunity, fit and candidate interest.
  8. Assess the candidate using the Quality of Hire Talent Scorecard.

The process described here involves the candidate being aware of the major performance requirements of the job before the interview. The person can then prepare the presentation properly by outlining some past comparable accomplishments ahead of time. The interviewer is actively questioning the candidate with the focus on areas that have been shown to more accurately access fit, ability and motivation. The dual approach ensures the candidate is assessed properly against all job needs.

Since this approach is guided and self-learned, it minimizes the need for extensive and formal interview training. Regardless, it’s important to recognize that interviewing someone more accurately isn’t the same as recruiting and hiring the person. This is a critical skill that is typically ignored in the rush to determine who ultimately gets hired. You can try the process out using this template, or contact me and we can figure out how to be radical together.


Lou Adler (@LouA) is the CEO of The Adler Group, a consulting and training firm helping companies implement Performance-based Hiring. He's also a regular columnist for Inc. Magazine and BusinessInsider. His latest book, The Essential Guide for Hiring & Getting Hired (Workbench, 2013), provides hands-on advice for job-seekers, hiring managers and recruiters on how to find the best job and hire the best people. You can continue the conversation on LinkedIn's Essential Guide for Hiring Discussion Group.