In many industries, there have been controversial appointments based around who a candidate knew, as opposed to their ability to do a job. This practice is referred to as nepotism and is very common in Ireland, perhaps the legacy of our nudge-nudge, wink-wink culture and the clientelism that permeates much of government. However, what a robust interview process attempts to do is eliminate this and start everyone at the same baseline. In a nutshell, the interview process is a formalized way of identifying who is the most suitable candidate for a given role. H-Training has been assisting candidates prepare for interview for almost thirty years and we bring a broad range of experience to this process. Furthermore, in our work in the area of Human Resources it is astonishing how often we encounter situations where problems stem from poorly recruited candidates being given positions of authority or otherwise. It would be naïve of H-Training to claim that nepotism can be eradicated completely. A lot of interview boards are untrained or the criteria for the interview is not agreed upon properly in advance. Added to this, bias is a very real and stubborn factor to exclude when you are dealing with human beings, and ultimately the best we can hope for is to reduce this as much as possible.
In establishing this process organisations can be more specific about what they require from candidates by developing a list of competencies desirable for each role. The Civil Service has a thoroughly compiled competency based framework for all levels of employment. Competencies are a set of qualities and characteristics that a candidate must possess in order to perform in a role. Basic examples would range from Teamwork, Solving Problems & Making Decisions all the way up to Strategic Planning and Leadership. But the question then becomes how do you demonstrate these abilities in an interview? Firstly, you demonstrate your ability under a given competency not by just stating that you are ‘good’ at it (as this demonstrates little other than your ability to speak) but by giving specific examples of situations in which you performed according to what is required by the competency. Secondly, we are asked a lot about smooth talkers and charmers getting selected against other candidates who may be more genuine and the basic fact is that, yes (unfortunately or otherwise) an interview is a performance and it is about how well you do on the day.
Many people argue that this is unfair, but rather than enter into this debate our argument is that, this is the game and we need to accept it and work on our skills accordingly. This is where H-Training can help you. In availing of our interview Coaching Service, we will partner with you to identify your edge for the purpose of the interview. What do we mean by edge? This is the key aspect of what you bring to the role that will separate you from the competition. Recruitment is a competition and in order to win we need to be very clear about why you are better than the other candidates. Once we have identified this we can then support you to perform and deliver the message you need with impact, in order to ensure that the interview board remembers you when it comes to making a final decision.