How to Interview Candidates with a Variety of Work Experience

Sep 25, 2018

Non Traditional Work Backgrounds

The workforce has changed. There is a smaller population of specialists with specific skills for a specific role that are applying for positions in your company.

Today, applicants fit a more general category of workers with various experience. They worked through college, then worked for 2-3 years at their first job out of college, then worked in another role for 3-5 years, and are now applying for a position in your company.

According to a recent LinkedIn study, today’s worker will average four jobs by the time they reach the age of 32. Additionally, the latest data released by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics indicates a 9 percent decline in the average number of years that today’s worker spends at one job.

Not all workers with various backgrounds are a good fit for your company, though. The key to determining the right fit is understanding:

  • What to look for in each candidate
  • How to interview each candidate

What Critical Skill Should You Look For?

When evaluating candidates with various backgrounds and experiences, you need to evaluate their critical thinking skills.

An individual’s critical thinking skills are vital in today’s work environment because of advances in technology and a shift to more automated processes. Your workers need to be able to make critical decisions using the available technology to perform their tasks, be a productive team member using the technology, and be motivated to help their company achieve goals.

If a candidate has the capacity to think objectively, remove their emotions from a situation, and apply their learning to a role, they can become a high-performer in your company even if they have diverse work experience that does not fit the traditional background you are looking for.

How Do You Evaluate Whether a Candidate Has Critical Thinking Skills?

To get started on evaluating whether a candidate has the critical thinking required for the role, you need to assess their biases and clarity of thought. The tool to make this determination is an assessment that measures thinking.

The results of this type of assessment will indicate the candidate’s internal capability to analyze a situation accurately, assess what action to take, and take the correct course of action. This three-step process requires three key components:

  1. Clarity in their ability to analyze the situation.
  2. Clarity in their practical thinking to determine the correct action to take.
  3. Clarity in their self-monitoring to take the correct action performing the task or resolving a situation.

If the candidate does not have the clarity to accurately read the situation in the first step, their decision-making will be skewed in steps two and three. Or, if the candidate can understand a situation, but does not have a strong internal rudder that guides their decision-making, they may not take the correct action.

Using the assessment results, you can understand how to interview candidates to identify actual situations in their work history that will predict their choices in your company.

Make a Confident Hiring Decision About Today’s Worker

Combined with a resume and references, the measurable information gathered about each candidate will guide you on how to evaluate a candidate to determine the best fit.

Through this evaluation, you can separate candidates who have short employment stints because they are not strong in their critical thinking skills and the ideal future high performers that spent their post-college career gathering valuable work experience to bring into your company.

ZERORISK HR can help you find the ideal candidate with a variety of work experience to make an informed hiring decision.

The ZERORISK Hiring System includes a pre-employment assessment that measures thinking, a custom behavioral interview guide to understand how to interview candidates, a benchmark tool to compare each candidate to top performers in the role, and software to manage the process.

Our team would appreciate the opportunity to discuss the Hiring System with you. Contact us today for a free 7-Day Trial or request a demo.

ZERORISK helps organizations build great cultures by identifying, developing, and retaining top talent. The ZERORISK Hiring System blends a revolutionary behavioral science with state-of-the-art technology to reduce unwanted turnover and improve employee performance. For more information contact us at (800) 827-5991.

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