[IPAC-List] Using a combination of interview media

Geoff Burcaw gburcaw at cps.ca.gov
Wed Mar 13 14:16:33 EDT 2013

If we feel the need to see, or sit in a room with, a candidate, we are probably going beyond the KSAs we intended to assess in the interview. If we use non-verbal cues to assess candidates in a selection process, we should have an objective method for doing so. In other words, have we identified the specific physical behaviors that would indicate possession of attributes necessary for successfully performing the job, as identified through a job analysis? And have we established criteria -levels, benchmarks, etc., that will allow us to evaluate these behaviors objectively across all candidates? Generally, the answer to these questions is no, and we generally aren't too concerned because we are only looking for cues that indicate a particular candidate is not acceptable. If we have two otherwise equally-qualified candidates, but one "seemed nervous," or "didn't present themselves well," or didn't make eye contact, does that mean the candidate lacks some attribute necessary for success on the job, or is less qualified than the other candidate? Quite possibly; but our process for establishing the link between that attribute and important job behaviors must be rigorous and fully documented.

Geoff Burcaw
CPS HR Consulting

From: ipac-list-bounces at ipacweb.org [mailto:ipac-list-bounces at ipacweb.org] On Behalf Of RPClare at aol.com
Sent: Wednesday, March 13, 2013 10:17 AM
To: Glen.Morry at rcmp-grc.gc.ca; ipac-list at ipacweb.org
Subject: Re: [IPAC-List] Using a combination of interview media

I am responding intuitively. I believe that interviewers in face-to-face collect more non-verbal info that would come into their decision-making process, technology-assisted (Skype?) interviews also provide some of the non-verbal but not as great since the visual field is limited tor face/face-shoulders. Phone interviews offer the least non-verbal cues. If you have a multiple interview process, I would use phone interviews for all candidates to keep the process as level as possible. Once the field is narrowed, I would use technology-assisted but offer candidates the option to appear for a face-to-face (on their own dime). We don't reimburse local candidates for mileage and parking. I would then try to "sensitize" the interviewer(s) regarding the possible differential impact non-verbal communications may have. As an interviewer, I would want to see and interact with candidates.but we have to recognize the ROI involved. Historically, we would have either brought them in or merely done phone interviews without another thought. Technology offers another option and helps us realize the differences. Unfortunately, most public sector jurisdictions would reject distant candidates if their only option was to spend the money. Also, most managers would not want to forgo face-to-face to level the field for distant candidates and would probably limit themselves to local candidates if they couldn't have face-to-face with local candidates.

In a message dated 3/13/2013 12:50:48 P.M. Eastern Daylight Time, Glen.Morry at rcmp-grc.gc.ca<mailto:Glen.Morry at rcmp-grc.gc.ca> writes:
Hi -

I have a question about what to do in a situation where interviews for the same job might need to be done using different "media" - i.e. some will be face-to-face, while others will be via telephone or video-conference (because of travel costs, timing, or other logistical considerations). All candidates would be internal, but possibly from across the country.

Bearing in mind that the (limited) research indicates there may be differences in how effectively interview information is gathered, as well as how ratings may be affected based on whether it is a face-to-face or a "technology-assisted" interview, should we insist that the same approach be applied for all candidates (so even local candidates would get a phone interview, for instance)?

Are there grounds for candidates to challenge a hiring decision, based on their apparently being disadvantaged by having gone through a different format of interview than the other candidates?

Glen Morry

IPAC-List at ipacweb.org<mailto:IPAC-List at ipacweb.org>
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