All job interviews are the same. What is your biggest strength? What is your biggest weakness? Many candidates will tell you what you want to hear… it is hard to gauge talent before you hire when everyone gives you the same answers. Passion. Perfectionist. The same tips for both the recruiter and the candidate are in a million different articles. Why not spice it up a bit? Heineken did. Wix.com did. Hudl did.
Some organizations ask candidates to come back for a second interview, which can be a working interview. The brewing company, Heineken took the primary interview to the next level. They put candidates in situations they wouldn’t encounter during a traditional interview and put their personalities to the test.
Heineken: The Candidate
How can you gauge a talent’s true fit for a position if they are heavily prepared for the interview? It’s just like all of the other interviews they’ve been to all week. Now, Heineken goes above and beyond, putting candidates in potentially uncomfortable situations to assess their reactions.
The first test: holding hands with the interviewer down the hallway to the interview.
The second test: how do they respond when the interviewer appears to need medical assistance but continues to ask interview questions. The third and final assessment…
“Would you say you’re fiery and passionate or cold and calculated?”
“Fiery and passionate… other people are infected by my enthusiasm.”
“You think I’m getting infected right now?”
They put their candidates in awkward situations to force their true colors to the surface.
Wix.com: Trading Places
Heineken isn’t the only one that mixes it up during the interview. First of all, Omer Shai , CMO for Wix.com a Tel-Aviv company, is always involved in the hiring process. He believes the employees are the lifeblood of the organization, so it’s important the individuals they hire fit into the position properly. Shai said, “Our employees are the driving force of our company, and I want to be sure that the people we add to the mix will fit into the department, are excited by a challenge, and can cope with our fast-paced startup environment without losing their calm.” Traditionally, the first question in an interview is something along the lines of, “Tell me about yourself.” So, in order to evaluate a candidate’s fit, Shai’s first question during the interview is always, “What do you want to ask me?”
Hudl participates in these unconventional interview tactics as well. Inspired by a “game” their project manager Kyle Deterding , #RealTalk asks the team tough questions. Not from the supervisors or managers, though. The team asks their colleagues these tough questions and they have to be “respectfully blunt.” Co-founder John Wirtz uses #RealTalk as a strategy in their hiring process , too.
— Brian Kuchta (@bkFOPM) September 11, 2014
“We ask people point-blank when we’re interviewing them… ‘Give me an example of where you delivered some #RealTalk that was challenging to deliver,” said Wirtz. On the opposite side of the same coin, candidates are asked to give an example of some honest criticism they received. Then, they are asked about their reaction to said criticism. That’s how they measure a candidate’s fit. Talent who are able to give and receive the #RealTalk to colleagues and supervisors alike, and react in accordance to Hudl standards, are the candidates who impress during the interview.
Many recruiting articles will tell hiring managers not to stray too far from the conventional questions and traditional interview techniques. Why not? Straying from the ordinary allows interviewers to see candidates’ personalities and how they could potentially fit into the company culture.
Heineken put candidates to three tests to judge candidates who would fit the position best. Wix.com puts the spotlight on the talent from the moment the interview begins. Hudl uses their #RealTalk to see how well candidates can give and take criticism.
It’s not for all organizations, though. Some company cultures foster a 9-5, suit-and-tie life style. For the companies with a little bit more creative freedom outside the boundaries ordained by the cut of an employee’s sports coat, mixing up the interview process could give a better frame as to gauge the talent before you decide who to hire.