a. Outstanding b. Above average c. Average d. Below average e. Poor25 Questions come in rapid sequence and require concentration.26 The typical computerized interview program measures the response time to each question. A delay in answering certain questions such as “Can you be trusted?” flags a potential problem. The accompanying HR as a Profit Center feature illustrates the bottom line impact such systems can have. 196 197 IMPROVING PERFORMANCE: HR as a Profit Center Great Western Bank When Bonnie Dunn tried out for a teller’s job at Great Western Bank, she faced a lineup of tough customers.27 One woman sputtered contradictory instructions about depositing a check and then blew her top when Bonnie wasn’t fast enough. Another said, “You people are unbelievably slow.” Both these customers appeared on a computer screen, as part of a 20-minute computerized job interview. Ms. Dunn sat in front of the screen, responding via a touch screen and a microphone. She was tested on making change and on sales skills, and on keeping her cool. When applicants sit down facing the computer, they hear it say, “Welcome to the interactive assessment aid.” The computer records their comments for evaluation later. To begin the interview, applicants touch an icon on the screen, eliciting an ominous foreword: “We’ll be keeping track of how long it takes you and how many mistakes you make. Accuracy is more important than speed.” Great Western’s system dramatically reduced in-person interviewing of unacceptable candidates, saving valuable HR time and resources. And, partly because the candidates see what the job is really like, those
hired are reportedly 26% less likely to leave within 90 days of hiring, significantly reducing the bank’s employee turnover costs. Discussion Question 7-1: You have to hire dozens of wait staff every year for a new restaurant on Miami Beach. Explain how you would use a computerized interview, including questions and tasks for candidates. SPEED DATING For better or worse, some employers use “speed dating” interviewing. One sent e-mails to all applicants for an advertised position. Four hundred (of 800 applicants) showed up. Over several hours, applicants first mingled with employees, and then (in a so-called “speed dating area”) had one-on-one contacts with employees for a few minutes. Based on this, the recruiting team chose 68 candidates for follow-up interviews.28 BAIN & COMPANY CASE INTERVIEW Bain & Company uses case interviews as part of its candidate selection process. By having candidates explain how they would address the case “client’s” problems, the case interview combines elements of behavioral and situational questioning to provide a more realistic assessment of the candidate’s consulting skills. The accompanying screen grab shows Bain candidates how to prepare for the case- based interview.
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