Create a great interview guide before you start interviewing

3 minutes

Know the different types of interviews

We use three types of interviews depending on the department the role is for.

  1. An Outcomes interview
  2. A Work History interview
  3. A Technical / Case Study interview (used for select roles, not included in this Pyn)

This Pyn provides instructions on The Outcome Interview (sometimes called Scorecard Interview) and the Work History Interview. Both are loosely based on the powerful Top-grading interview methodology.

Outcomes interview

Goal

Determine if the candidate has the right experience or potential to solve the key challenges for this role.

Instead of writing down job requirements, we look into the future and describe what success would look like in this role in 12 months time. There might be several different outcomes. For each outcome, you will write related questions.

Before the interview 

#1 Define Outcomes

Define ~5 outcomes you’d want this role to achieve over the next ~12 months. When writing an outcome, finish the sentence: “in 12 months, you will have…”

Example

In 12 months, you will have …built a bridge

#2 Create Questions

For each outcome, create related questions.

Example

  • Explain your process of planning and managing such a project
  • Give me an example of a setback you experienced in the past when you built a bridge (or, if they don’t have specific experience building a bridge, ask about a similar large scale project)

#3 Select Interviewers

For each outcome, select 1 or 2 interviewers to cover. If you have multiple interviewers involved in the process, don’t have any interviewer cover all outcomes.

This will also avoid a candidate being asked the same questions by multiple interviewers, which is both annoying for the candidate and inefficient from an interviewing perspective.

During the interview

For each outcome, the interviewer should assess if the candidate either has:

Each interviewer, gives one of the following ratings for each outcome they have been asked to cover:

  1. Not Enough Experience or Potential
  2. Moderate Experience / Moderate Potential
  3. Moderate Experience / Strong Potential
  4. Strong Experience

Template:

Download a outcomes guide example

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Work History Interview

Goal:

Establish the pattern of high performance throughout a person’s career

Interviewers ask 7 standard questions (plus follow-up questions) about each job a candidate has had. They include things like successes, mistakes, key decisions, their manager’s strengths and weaker points, how their manager would rate them, and why they left the job. 
By asking the same questions about each job, you’ll establish a pattern. Every candidate can come up with one or two examples of how they handled a certain situation well. You’ll spot the candidates with exaggerated resumes by using this technique.

Questions to ask: 

  1. How did you end up in this role? (check for signs this person was pulled into the role - e.g. my previous boss called me up…)
  2. What are some notable successes and accomplishments? And how were they achieved?
  3. We all make mistakes — what were some mistakes you made or failures you had during your time in this position?
  4. What was your supervisor’s name and title? Would you be willing to arrange for us to talk with them?
  5. What was it like working under this supervisor? What do you feel were their strengths and shortcomings?
  6. If we call you manager and ask to rate your performance on a scale from 1-10 - how do you think they will rate you? Why an 8 and not a 7? What did you do better than others in that role? And what would your manager say would have made you a 10?
  7. What were your reasons for leaving the job?  (check for signs this person was pushed out of the organization - e.g. I was fired because…)
  8. Additional question for management positions: What sort of talent did you inherit? What changes did you make? How many lower or higher performers did you end up with?

Template:

Download  a work history guide example

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Credits: Photo by @alicekat on Unsplash.