Alexandra Levit is a business author and consultant who has written several books, including the popular business world survival guide, They Don’t Teach Corporate in College, How’d You Score That Gig? and Success for Hire.
I recently had the opportunity to review Success for Hire, which is targeted to employers to help them find and keep outstanding employees. In the book, Alexandra adroitly guides employers through a series of steps to help them target, attract and retain the very best candidates for their organizations.
It will be no surprise to job seekers that some employers do not plan their recruiting efforts as strategically as they might. Sometimes, the hire just doesn’t work out or employers inadvertently misrepresent the job to prospective candidates. If they all read and followed Alexandra’s advice, employers could save a lot of time, effort and money, and employees might be spared being put through a process that is less than stellar.
In her book, Alexandra outlines nine strategies for employers. Most interesting for job seekers? Number 4 – Create a Strategy for Interviewing. Job seekers may be surprised to learn that “most evidence has demonstrated that interviews have low reliability and validity, yet everyone continues to rely on them as the principal way of determining the future of their organization” (p. 49). Alexandra encourages interviewers to prepare questions that target specific criteria for the job. (This is great advice for job seekers as well, as they must be able to target their skills and accomplishments to the job’s requirements.)
She suggests guidelines from Martin Yate (2006), author of Hiring the Best. His guidelines for questions (and suggested examples) include:
- Adaptability and suitability: What was the most difficult project you tackled in a previous job?
- Motivation: What have you done that you are proud of?
- Teamwork and manageability: Describe the best manager you ever had?
- Management: How do you quantify your results as a manager?
- Entry-level questions: How did you spend your vacations while at school?
The “interviewing” chapter expands on the different types of questions (closed-ended, open-ended, negative balance, reflexive, “hamburger helper” questions and mirror statements and silence). I was interested in reading up on the most recent research in this arena. Clearly, anyone hiring or trying to be hired can benefit from the research Alexandra included in her book about the interview process.
While I normally read (and write) information targeted only to the job seeker, reading Success for Hire was an informative and enjoyable change of pace. It is a good reminder to the well-researched job seeker that looking at books and information targeted at EMPLOYERS is a good idea. I highly recommend Success for Hire to people on both sides of the hiring desk!