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Inner-viewing: The Strategic Way To Interview

Finding the right talent at the right time for the right job, is a huge part of an organization’s strategic people operations.

It’s vital for success that through the interview process there is a unique inner-viewing of the candidates during the search, to fully understand the candidate’s skills, experience, drives, and motivations.

A solid hiring process always consists of a standardized model, whether it is a top grading format or a work-history questionnaire. Before you start interviewing, ask these questions and ensure that any candidate who is participating in your selection process feels valued and respected:

  1. What is the objective of the interview?

  2. Are the selected interview questions appropriate for the role type and job category?

  3. Who do I need on the interviewing team?

  4. What do I need from them?

  5. Does everyone have the questions, and have they had a crash course in the interviewing model?

Interview vs. Inner-View

It is important to understand your candidate’s track record, the types of companies they worked for, the roles they held, and how they went about producing results. But it’s just as important to learn and understand how and why they made the decisions they did, what they liked and disliked about their companies and their jobs, and their history of progression or regression in their career.

This is where an interview becomes an inner-view, a deep look into who your candidate is. You are not only interviewing these candidates to determine if they can do the job and perform; you are also interviewing to determine if they are a good fit internally and externally, and how long they will stay engaged and productive.

In his management consulting work, the late Peter Drucker taught that often two-thirds of all hiring decisions are mistakes because many hiring decisions are made with inadequate information ( When breakdowns in hiring occur, it is most likely because someone chooses to bypass the process and hire someone they think can deliver more than was originally advertised, and their instinct tells them to hire this person and bypass the process.

Invariably, the decision-maker is impressed by someone’s credentials or charisma, and ceases to lead the interview in an investigative manner. The interviewer switches to selling mode before uncovering all the key features, benefits, strengths and weaknesses this candidate comes with; in the end, neither the person nor the role delivers.

Regardless of a candidate’s credentials or charisma, it is a mindful business practice to include a structured, patterned interviewing model as part of the candidate credential validation process. Behavioral-based interviewing is highly recommended as long as the questions are developed and vetted by trusted reliable resources and not downloaded off the internet.

If you can download the questions off of the internet, so can your candidates.

Interview Do’s

Ask open-ended questions: The key is that there are thought-provoking, open-ended interview questions.

Be specific about your ideal candidate: An Inner-View determines if this person has what it takes to perform the day-to-day functions of the role and deliver required results in the manner that suits your company culture, values, philosophy and mission. If character, intellect and emotional quotients are important for success in your organization, implement some level of validated behavioral interviewing system.

Interview Don’ts

Do not use generic material: Downloading questions off the Internet or take any sample questions out of resource material is inefficient: those are designed as examples and may not be a relevant line of questioning for the competencies, behaviors, modes of thinking, modes of interacting, modes of acting, or the motivations the role requires in a specific organization.

A solid behavioral interviewing program gives you a menu of behaviors, competencies, values, methods of communication, and modes of thinking to choose from. An equally solid decision-making rank-order matrix for the most important hiring criteria is a conscious-minded way to measure and weigh the candidates as compared to the hiring criteria.

During the Inner-View process, ensure the interviewer is doing a minimal amount of talking. The purpose of the Inner-View is for the interviewer to understand the candidate, not for the interview to sell the opportunity. There is a time and a place for that, and the Inner-View is not it. In the end, measure the finalist candidates against the hiring benchmark and comprehensive position requirements. If no candidates hits the mark, the right thing to do is generate more candidates until you have two or three that fit the standard.

For more help implementing a solid interview process, or rather Inner-view process, check out our Values-Based Behavioral Interview Training and Certification in January.


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