Are job interviews a thing of the past?

The job interview could soon be a thing of the past, according to recent posts by recruiters on social media. But workadvisor.co.uk founder Philip Price argues it as vital as ever.

The interview has been at the heart of the recruitment process for as long as most people can remember.In recent years it has been complimented by group interviews, psychometric tests and even unpaid internships. But the interview remains crucial to the whole process.

Recently, however, recruiters in large organisations have become increasingly sceptical about using it as the tool for assessing the suitability of any given role.Social media has been awash with claims that it only really tells you how good or bad a candidate is at conducting interviews.

Some Human Resources executives believe the interview can be used be hiring managers to ensure the candidate fits with their pre-determined view of the ideal employee, in terms of age, looks and interest, and does little to assess role competency.

I’ve no doubt this happens and there is certainly an argument for conducting more tests of skills and experience.

Probationary periods in a role are also vital, to ensure that any candidates who just have expertise at interviews – in effect style over substance – can be weeded out early on without any great cost to the company.But I firmly believe the interview should and will remain a vital part of the recruitment process.It is essential to discover a candidate’s personality – as opposed to their technical ability – and whether they fit in to a company’s culture.

This is particularly the case if a company wants to be known for something beyond just the goods or services it sells. This is increasingly what successful brands are striving for, particularly as they aim to attract young people.If, for example, a company is committed to sustainability, it may not want to hire someone who is very sceptical about the issue, regardless of their ability.

I believe companies keep the interview at the heart of their recruitment policies, but adapt it to ensure they find candidates that share their values.

Adventure travel specialist G Adventures is among the companies doing just that.

Typically, candidates applying for roles at G Adventures will have an online interview, followed by one or more face-to-face interviews and then the ‘G factor interview’. Here the prospective employee will face members of staff, from various different departments, who are not even aware of the role for which the candidate is applying.

“The G factor is a great, and fun way for our wider staff team to meet new employees and decide for themselves if they possess the qualities we celebrate here at G Adventures: open-mindedness, friendliness, motivation & passion, fun and positivity,” says G Adventures talent partner EMEA Emma Spring.

“The interview is a mix of ice-breaker activities, free-style conversation and series of quirky questions,” she adds.  “There are no right or wrong answers but staff can rank how well they felt the candidate demonstrated the five qualities we are looking for.”

I expect other companies to follow suit, as they search for candidates they feel can stay with them for the long term.

For tips on conducting interviews and questions to use and avoid, go to workadvisor.co.uk/blogs