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How to conduct a post-personality assessment interview

Assessments are a complementary piece to the overall recruitment process that give powerful insights into a candidate’s qualifications beyond the standard application/resume/interview. Skills-based assessments are common – what’s becoming more standard are cognitive and personality assessments.

Personality assessments, in particular, should be conducted with care. To ensure a fair and equitable analysis, follow up with a post-personality assessment interview.

The challenge here is that such an interview cannot follow the traditional structure of an interview, with a preset series of questions. Additionally, many post-personality test questions are customized based on individual test results and will differ from one candidate to the next. So, you’ll need to allow for flexibility here to gain a better understanding of the more intangible aspects of a candidate’s eligibility for a role.

With all those factors in play, here’s how you can use post-personality test questions to conduct a fair and equitable interview process.

Why should we care?

Often, interviews include questions like “What is your biggest flaw?” or “Where do you see yourself in five years?”. Research shows that questions such as these are most prone to interviewer bias.

Nevertheless, this approach may work when evaluating a handful of candidates. But when the number of candidates grows and each candidate needs to be assessed, a traditional interview with typical questions becomes more difficult when so many variables and intangibles are involved in an analysis.

This is why a structured way of conducting and recording a candidate’s post-personality assessment interview is crucial during the hiring process for a specific job. To maintain structure, follow these five steps in mind to ensure you’re set for success:

  1. Prepare beforehand
  2. Invite every candidate
  3. Set up the interview
  4. Perform the interview itself
  5. Report immediately afterwards

1. Prepare beforehand

The first step is to prepare ahead of the interview. Review a map of all available personality factors and facets. Consider the relevance of each for the job, and focus on eight to 10 core facets that you want to evaluate.

If you’re unsure whether or not to include specific personality traits or characteristics in this list, consult with someone already in that function or team to get a better understanding of what traits are beneficial to the role.

Once you have the list of traits and characteristics you want to look at, it’s time to start collecting insights via the interview.

Now that you know what you are looking for, it is time to start collecting data and invite candidates to interview.

2. Invite every candidate

To ensure a fair and equitable process, make sure every candidate gets an interview. Remember, you’re looking at specific behaviors and characteristics that are better analyzed via assessments and interviews than via candidate profiles.

Another factor is that candidates’ own biases can factor into the assessment results – for instance, they may be naturally inclined to give the “right” answer to further their candidacy for a role even if there’s no actual right or wrong answer. There will also be those who don’t seem to match what you’re looking for in an ideal candidate.

A post-personality assessment interview gives you the opportunity to hear them out. You may find candidates who use uncommon tactics to turn disadvantages into advantages. Some may have different approaches to handling dissatisfied customers, for example.

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3. Setting up the interview

Now it’s time to set a standard for the pre-interview period. Your goal here is to make sure each candidate feels welcome, comfortable and respected. That also means creating a comfortable environment and allowing enough time for candidates to respond in depth – and for you to really listen without distractions.

This is especially important when conducting a post-personality assessment interview because you want the candidate to feel at ease.

Meanwhile, make sure you’ve done your homework on the suggested interview questions – which are customized as well. These questions, via Workable’s personality assessment feature, can come up in cases where greater clarity is needed in specific areas.

For example, a candidate may show significant “friendly” or “distant” traits, which would trigger questions via the feature (which are, again, customized) to help understand those elements at a deeper level. These questions will be available via Workable’s personality assessment feature in cases where the candidate has scored below or above average in specific personality characteristics.

Some of these questions may not correspond to characteristics included in your list you made in Step 1. In that case, you may skip them.

4. Conducting the interview

During the interview, you should always go back to the priorities you’ve outlined in your initial preparation. Ask yourself:

  • “Why is this characteristic important?”
  • “How will a candidate with this characteristic perform better in this job?”

There will be a corresponding question or statement for each characteristic. Follow-up questions are available if you want to explore further. Once you’re satisfied that you’ve learned what you need to know about the candidate, move on to the next question(s).

It’s important to pay close attention to the candidate’s responses. Your goal is to understand how the candidate will perform in the job in terms of personality traits.

5. Report immediately afterwards

After the interview is over, record your assessment of the candidate’s qualities. It’s best to do this immediately after the interview, and in a standardized format that allows you to compare results with other candidates.

Post-assessment interview best practices

When interviewing, follow these best practices:

  • Be actively engaged in the interview, and pay attention to the candidate’s responses. These questions are as much for your benefit as they are for the candidate’s – don’t treat this as an afterthought.
  • Ensure a stress-free environment that allows the candidate to bring their best self to the interview. Even if you want to see how a candidate responds in a stressful situation, there’s a time and place for that; don’t deliberately create that atmosphere in this particular interview.
  • Be intensely aware of the most important personality characteristics for the specific job position that you’re interviewing for.
  • End the interview in a professional and respectful manner, and be sure to note your impressions of the candidate immediately afterwards, as to not miss any important details.

Consider a training program or consultation with fellow HR professionals to ensure an ideal outcome for yourself and other members of the hiring team.

You may also find the following tutorials and templates to be helpful in ensuring best results:

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