Here’s how to make your interviewing Scientific and Fool-Proof

Oct 22, 2018DISC, Human Resources, Recruitment & Selection

Hiring Managers when asked admitted to being happiest getting to know their candidates through unstructured interviews. They are in a position to ask the questions that they personally think are relevant to the role. It’s interesting to note from a HBR Article on Bias in Interviews that although these types of interviews receive the highest effectiveness scores from Hiring Managers, in many studies they have been found to be the least reliable method of ‘on the job performance’. Digging deeper into this problem, it was clear that managers continue to use this method due to two factors: they over rate their expertise and they are concerned about losing the human touch in interviewing if they change to ‘structured interviewing’ .


What if your Interviewing was made fool proof using science?


It’s interesting when you compare these issues with our last Blog ‘What if your recruiting was fool proof using Science?’ where we outlined some of the main reasons 2018 has been the most challenging year yet for Recruiters. The realtime issues you say you face daily include:

  • 18% of Recruiters of you don’t know what questions to ask at interviews
  • 42% of you are concerned about the bias of interviewers
  • 57% of you fail to understand client weaknesses.

(2018 Global Recruiting Trends Report)

The statistics are clear, traditional interviewing is failing. Gone are the golden days when a smart suit, a typo free CV and a charming manner was enough to get you the job. Ireland’s economy is predicted to record the highest growth in the EU this year, according to European Commission forecasting. The rate of unemployment is at 5.6% (Trading Economics) which is a 10 year low and candidate competition is intense. The most recent Monster 2018 ‘State of Recruiting’ survey found that recruiters are finding this tight labour market particularly hard. So given this atmosphere where employment is high, employee brands are visible and Candidates have all the choice, is it really you that are being interviewed by them, not the other way around?


Is it possible that in your desperate bid to win candidates, you are choosing the wrong ones?



“Today’s strong economy is increasing the overall demand for talent, so recruiters are under tremendous pressure,” said Bob Melk, Chief Commercial Officer , Monster.

What mistakes are you making and what should you do about it?


When we asked our TTI Associates, a large percentage of Recruiters and HR Talent Managers said that they relied on their gut instinct in the final analysis. However if we go back to the science as we like to at TTI SII, it turns out that a series of experiments conducted by Princeton Psychologists reveal that it takes approximately one tenth of a second to form a first impression of a stranger. These first impressions don’t alter significantly the longer you are with a person. Furthermore our impressions are influenced by factors as haphazard as a limp handshake and clothing style. After that first tenth of a second non empirical, conclusion, we recruiters start building evidence to support our first impressions.


Researchers have identified over 150 known categories of bias including gender, race, height, employment status, family status, age, and job title.

Erin O’Toole Murphy



Interviews are biased by nature. Like magpies attracted to shiny objects, we meet attractive, charismatic Candidates, they sell themselves to us and we fall for it. Known as the halo bias, it is based on an assumption that a Candidate who is attractive must also be successful.


What about the perceived dangers of Conformity? When you last interviewed in a panel was conformity bias an issue for you? Did you have a different opinion but allow the group consensus to win out? We are after all mammals and as such belonging to a group is crucial to our survival. Can you be brave enough to stand up with a different opinion?


Are you doing justice to all your other candidates and to yourself? Is your gut or even more specifically your first impression going to be your last one? Don’t all your candidates deserve an impartial evaluation of their achievements instead of going with the groupthink?


But don’t blame yourself, we are human and as such we are subject to bias, it’s our programming. However- what is within our control is structuring our hiring process to avoid this latent bias.


An indigenous person has to submit more than 35% more applications– Alison Booth, Professor of Economics at Australian National University


Re-Inventing the Interview Process


56% of talent professionals and hiring managers say that new interview tools are the top trend impacting how they hire


2018 Global Recruiting Trends report


Traditional interviews aren’t going away but a huge 56% of you have stated that you believe reinventing the interview process with new tools that allow you to understand the candidate better is a top trend. We know that the answer lies in you having a structured proven, hiring process. We know that the key is for you to use Tools, reliable data and Science to make interviews fool proof.


Create a decision tool. To guard against unconscious bias, use a decision tool that everyone on the hiring team uses. Identify the criteria most important for success through job benchmarking. This allows you to find a new hire that fits the needs of the job and not select the person you “like” the best. (Erin O’Toole Murphy) 


The Science


Job Benchmarking: Benchmarking a Job minimises bias as well providing a clear objective and collective voice to behaviours, motivators and skills the job needs. Start by building a Job Score card: ask your client what is it that this job requires? Complete your Key Accountabilities worksheet with your Subject Matter Experts. (See our Complete Guide on How to Hire the Best Employees every time) At this stage we use our TTI Psychometric assessments the TTI Science of Self.


Psychometric assessments: Once you have completed your KA exercise, you can then facilitate the online completion of not only your observable behaviours for the role (World famous DISC, ) TTI Science of Self can measure your Workplace Motivators- your why (Driving Forces) your actual on the Job Competencies and your potential- what can you develop? (Acumen Capacity Index). This is done using your 3-7 Key accountabilities to eliminate bias. At the end of this process you will have a benchmark which identifies


  • The behaviours most needed for a job
  • The motivators the job rewards
  • The skills required to perform at a superior level
  • The acumen needed for superior performance


Now we combine the Key Accountabilities and the Benchmark with the hard skills required to create the Ideal Candidate Form.


“People analytics tools will become a “must-have” for HR teams and recruiters.” – Josh Bersin, Deloitte


Blind Candidate Screening:


This is somewhat controversial however it minimises bias further. Recruiters eliminate personal information from the CV or from the Candidate Profile such as their name, age, sex, education, address and hobbies using Software. It allows Candidates to be screened specifically on their skillset.


Structured interviews


The report also generates specific questions for interviewing under each of the Competency, Driving Forces and Behavioural headings. Using your TTI Assessments to prepare for the interview, take your job benchmark and prepare a job talent comparison report. This allows you to compare the shortlist candidates to each of the 25 competencies, 12 behaviours, 12 driving forces and 12 acumen indicators the job benchmark identifies as required for superior performance in a role. Remember there is always a gap as no candidate is perfect but the reports allow you to assess clearly the strengths and weaknesses your Candidate may have.


Interview 1: Ranking


The first interview (1 Hour long) is simply to rank your candidates and all candidates should be interviewed on the same day back to back to minimise bias. Your interview questions are developed for you from your benchmark report using Science not guesswork .


Interview 1: Video Interviewing


Big organisations like Apple, Twitter, Dropbox have all implemented video interviewing. It takes away the hassle of having candidates try and agree on dates and times suitable. It also allows the Recruiter to evaluate the skills of the Candidate online before asking them in for a round of interviews and thus saves time. You can use live video interviews and research show that 57% of you prefer that. 22% of you say that it allows you to reach candidates from other geographic regions. (Video Interviewing Trends)


“Video assessment of candidates will rapidly expand. – Josh Bersin, Deloitte


In Job Audition (Interview 2)


The second interview is to rank the candidates one or two, sometimes it’s best to have a third option also. This interview is more comprehensive and involves :


  • Walkabout– introduce the candidate to the organisation and the team they will be working with, explain how things work and allow them to ask questions, see if they have any insights.
  • Interview by the Team– Share The Ideal Candidate Form and the Benchmark with the team that they would be working with and allow them to interview the Candidate.
  • In Job Auditions or Presentation: Companies now design day-long job auditions where Candidates get paid to do real work. Alternatively ask the Candidate to deliver a presentation for what they would like to do in the company in the first 90 days. The thinking behind this is not that the plan should be perfect but that the person makes a plan and can present it clearly and persuasively. Does it make sense? Is she lit up and enthusiastic? It doesn’t have to be longer than 15 minutes. Allow a session of 30 minutes or so dialogue between everyone to dig deeper into the plan – find out the hows and why. At this point you are looking to confirm that the candidate has the characteristics that you saw in their profile.


You want to observe the Candidate skills in Action




Seal the deal (3rd Interview)


This is less an interview more of a sealing of the deal. With many Candidates really putting value on their ‘experience’ this is where you can put the icing on the cake. You have a accurate assessment of who your candidate is and what they value, therefore you know how to present and negotiate a deal with them. Do they value money or career progression or continuous learning? Have an informal meeting and discuss terms, especially any issues that need to be ironed out. Come to an agreement only after putting all questions out there. Follow this up with dinner. This really gives the experience the human touch that Hiring Managers are worried about losing .


“The evidence against unstructured interviews should make any hiring manager pause. These interviews should not be your evaluation tool of choice; they are fraught with bias and irrelevant information.. -”HBR


At TTI SI we’ve helped more than 100,000 companies improve the lives and productivity of their Senior Teams, employees and organisations. We believe in people potential and we want to empower you to have successful interviews and achieve our 92% Success Rate over 5 years in a row. Read and download our guide “How to Hire The Best Employee every time


If you are stuck for time or don’t like to read, we produced a Webinar series outlining the whole process that you can also access for free. Do your due diligence and don’t overlook our TTI Research where we focus a huge amount of resources making sure that our assessments are validated and predictable. If you would like to speak to us directly and try out our process email


Make a promise to yourself and stop using your gut and unfocused interview questions, it’s time to get serious and generate more recurring income from satisfied clients. We believe in empowering people, we want to start with you.




10 Things Successful People Do Every Day

10 Things Successful People Do Every Day

What if there was a secret formula for success that you could copy? Kevin Kruse best selling author recently interviewed more than 200 highly successful people to find out what their number 1 secret to productivity? These people included 7 billionaires and 13 olympians. The answers have been distilled into 10 Simple Steps you can follow to achieve your own success.

5 mistakes people make with the DISC profile

5 mistakes people make with the DISC profile

When you are hiring, you need to use more than DISC. DISC is outwardly observable behavioural tendencies. What goes on beneath the surface is harder to read but even more powerful. What if you could see what a person values and is driven by, be it money, status, helping others? How much engagement could you get from your employees if you had this information at your finger tips. Using DISC correctly and in conjunction with the other TTI Tools is essential for your organisation’s success.

3 Easy Steps to Building a Solid Company Culture

3 Easy Steps to Building a Solid Company Culture

Companies need to reimagine how they attract – and retain – employees by giving them what they desire, resulting in keeping them happier and more engaged. I am unique. So is every other employee. Companies would be wise to get to know their employees on a personal level and find out what is truly important to each and every one of them. Then, create a unique plan for each person that helps the employee achieve what he or she strives to achieve.

FREE DISC Assessment: Find out what your behaviours really are!

Have you ever taken a DISC Assessment? Actually… Have you ever taken a TTI DISC Assessment? Well why wait any longer, lets find out why you really behave the way you do!


Pin It on Pinterest

Did you enjoy this content?

Why not share it with your friends?