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Ditch the traditional interview techniques and use these three alternative techniques to hire the right person for the job

by , 02 August 2013
While most employers often rely on traditional interview techniques to help hire the right candidate for a job, there are, however, three alternative assessment techniques you could be using more successfully. Read on to find out what they are and when to use them.

There are three important reasons why you must make sure you hire the right person for the job:

  1. Your employee will be motivated in his job (and to work for your company);
  2. You'll be sure you have someone that'll be able to perform in his job; and
  3. Happy employees stay in their jobs for longer. This decreases the time and money you spend on training new people.

So how do you go about hiring the right person for the job?

Use these three alternative interviewing techniques to get the right person for the job

Technique #1: Competency-based interview

Identify the core competencies needed for the position. Then, formulate questions that'll enable you to objectively assess and rate the applicant's level of competence.

'All traditional interviews should be replaced by competency-based interviews,' says the Practical Guide to Human Resources Management.


  • Questions are more relevant and results are more applicable to the position, so you're more likely to appoint the best person for the job.
  • Candidates have more insight into what will be required in the job. They could even decide themselves they're not the best fit for the position.
  • The results will be more objective because interviewers are assessing against the same predetermined and descriptive criteria.


  • It takes time and competence to identify and develop valid competency requirements and supporting questions.

Use this technique when:

  • You simply want to make sure you appoint the best person for the job.

Technique #2: Panel interview

A panel interview consists of a number of interviewers.


  • The assessments are more objective (if used in conjunction with the competency-based interviewing technique).
  • If your panel is diverse and representative of the diversity you want to create in your company, then it'll support your diversity recruitment efforts.


  • You might get 'group think' (making decisions as a group in a way that discourages creativity and individual responsibility).
  • The logistics of setting up an interview team can be very testing.

Use this technique when:

  • You're not achieving your diversity targets; a diverse panel will increase diversity recruitment.
  • You want an objective recommendation or decision on the best person for a job.
  • You have to justify an appointment decision to other stakeholders.

Technique #3: Personality questionnaire

According to the Practical Guide to Human Resources Management this refers to an instrument that assesses a candidates' personality in total or an aspect thereof.


  • It's quick to complete and get results.
  • The results are easy for the line managers to understand.
  • When the assessment and analyses are done by computer it's not essential to have a trained or registered individual to administer and interpret the test results.


  • You need to make sure your line managers interpret the results objectively and don't misinterpret them or jump to subjective conclusions before an interview.

Use this technique when:

  • You know the instrument is valid, reliable and culture-fair. Ask the provider to give you this data.
  • You need an additional assessment tool.
  • You want to identify areas that need to be focused on in interviews.

Well there you have it. Using these alternative interview methods will help you get the best candidates for the job.

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