Especially in the contact center and BPO industries, all of the time you spend hiring new agents needs to really count. The competition for great agents is stiff, and most candidates are applying to multiple positions at the same time. So, how can you know you’re getting the most out of your interviews? These insights should help.
Understand what interviews are meant to do
Interviews have become such an integral part of our hiring processes that we’ve almost forgotten to take a step back and see them for what they are. Do you really know what an interview’s purpose is? And the role it plays in helping you find great candidates?
Interviews are meant to help you assess things like competency, fit, and motivation, keep good candidates from being inaccurately judged, and clarify expectations on both sides. And, especially in bilingual hiring, person-to-person interviews are the best opportunity to better understand how an applicant will fit into your organization. They allow you to pick up on subtle cues and make subjective judgements that are impossible to decide through just a resume or written communication.
As you optimize your interviews to be the most effective they can be, keep in mind that your goal is to get to know your candidates more personally and with more nuance than the other parts of your process.
Understand what interviews are not meant to do
Now, let’s talk about what an interview’s purpose is not. An interview isn’t the time to evaluate specific skills. It isn’t the time to test objective abilities or answer questions like “Does this candidate meet our specific criteria for language skills, typing skills, and technical ability?”
The reason why is simple—humans aren’t great at judging objective ability. We’re better at judging subjective things like analyzing a person’s attitudes, beliefs, and personality. When it comes to objective tasks, we tend to gather too much information, and that can be problematic.
Numerous studies have shown that when people haven’t slept well, are getting burned out, and try to judge objective abilities over and over again, they start to produce very inconsistent results. Humans also have inherent biases that they may not even be aware of, clouding their judgment and making it difficult to judge true skill ability.
When you’re setting up interviews, it’s best to forget objective skill testing and leave it to technology-based assessments to decide if your candidates have the right abilities for the job.
Standardize your questions
Another recommendation we have is to standardize all of your interview questions. This is a great idea for many reasons. First of all, it makes interviewing easier for your recruiters and hiring managers. It’s much harder to conduct a high volume of interviews when your hiring teams don’t have a regulated process. With standardized questions, each interviewer knows exactly what information they need to learn and can focus on gathering the right information from those questions, rather than coming up with their own.
Another big reason you should standardize your questions is because it helps you eliminate bias in your hiring process. Structuring interviews with an established set of questions helps you understand your candidates better in a more fair and impartial way, and reduces any risk of unconscious bias from judgement-based, off-the-cuff questions.
Remember that interviews go both ways
A one-sided interview process isn’t going to cut it if you’re looking for the best recruits. Your candidates are evaluating you just as much as you are them, and this is your best chance to really sell the benefits of the opportunity.
So, take time to outline the highlights of your company culture, how you show you value your employees, and what the advancement process looks like. New hires that can see a clear path forward and a culture that aligns with their personality and values will be more likely to accept your offer rather than a competitor’s.
If you want to get better results from your bilingual hiring interviews, these tips should help tip the scales in your favor. Understanding what interviews should and should not be doing, standardizing your questions, and showcasing the best of your organization will help you find better candidates faster that are more likely to stay.
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