Up until recently, job interview preparation has largely involved face to face drills or solo exercises. With technology platforms now catching up to allow interactive simulations, we thought it a good time to examine how the numbers stack up when considering the return on investment.
The Challenge(s) of the Interview Stage
Interview Workout was created because we believe one of the most critical steps in the recruitment process is the interview stage. At this stage, companies will have already assessed numerous candidates and shortlisted a select few who they believe may be able to fulfil the role. Per Glassdoor, each corporate job offer typically attracts 250 resumes. Of those candidates, 4 to 6 will get called for an interview, and only one will get the job. For the candidate, the interview stage is about making the most of the opportunity. In competing against other qualified candidates, it is not so much about what is on your resume that counts, but how you articulate your 'fit' into a particular role and the wider organisation at the interview. In fact, 65% of employers specifically mention that they want their candidates to demonstrate they have 'relevant' work experience (NACE Job Outlook 2017). These stats can be sobering, but it highlights the nexus between different factors that make preparation absolutely key to improving the chances of success on the big day.
A Realistic Business Case
For organisations helping to place a candidate or running an employability programme, the stats highlight the reality that achieving the desired return (that is, an employment outcome) is likely to require ongoing effort.
Taking a purely commercial perspective, the opportunity cost involved can be quite significant for organisations on a per candidate basis. Consider how much time recruitment agencies need to spend evaluating candidates, interviewing them, collecting and presenting them to clients - only to fail at the last hurdle. In a competitive market with limited opportunities and a large candidate pool, recouping that cost can be very challenging.
The numbers also have an impact on employability programs. To achieve a successful outcome, ongoing assistance and engagement is likely to be required beyond a programme's delivery lifecycle. According to the University of Washington 2019, it takes the average college graduate three to six months to secure employment after graduation. This gap, between formal engagement and success, is important to recognise.
Determining Critical Success Factors
In determining whether a technology solution can address the above challenges, it is important for organisations to ... ignore the technology. Yes, we know what we just said! While we love harnessing the benefits of Artificial Intelligence and Speech Analytics to help people, we are realistic about why and how it should be used. The interview stage is a specific stage of the recruitment process and should be treated as such. We believe there are a few things to consider. Firstly, the solution should focus on helping candidates demonstrate their relevance to the advertised role. At this stage, the resume has already been screened and employers are not so much assessing candidates on their technical (or hard) skills, but more focused on what soft skills they possess (typically through behavioural questions). Secondly, any interview preparation should simulate, as closely as possible, real life interactions and be as convenient as possible for candidates to access. After all, practice makes perfect. Finally, a solution needs to be cost effective and complement existing support provided to candidates or participants in a programme - during and after formal engagement processes.
Interview Workout was developed with the above critical success factors in mind.
- We provide a question bank of behavioural questions targeting key attributes employers typically include in job descriptions and/or a selection criteria (from communication skills to decision making ability).
- Candidates can practice anywhere, anytime with Interview Workout (given that Google Assistant is available in almost 1 Billion devices!). With the interface based on interactive conversations, it is also as close as you can get to the real thing.
- We believe in leveraging complementary expertise. Our partners provide the critical insights and expertise necessary to determine what, how and when the interview questionnaire should be used for each candidate.
- Our role based team features mean organisations can easily adjust interview questions, change access periods and manage a high volume of candidates in a scalable manner.
- With a pay as you go pricing model, organisations do not need to make a significant investment in resources or time.
Achieving an ongoing, scalable outcome, is not impossible when it comes to interview preparation assistance. An innovative and targeted approach, can significantly transform and improve candidate preparations for what is a critical stage in the recruitment process.