Interviewing and Assessment

Interviewing skills for managers

Does your organisation ever hire people who later turn out to be unsuitable?  Clearly, this costs time and money.

Many managers believe that they are good judges of character. However, the truth is that interviewing and making hiring decisions has very little to do with being a “good judge of character”.

Most successful businesses have discovered that interviewing needs to be taken just as seriously as any other business process.  There needs to be a rigorous process helping managers to weed out poor candidates.

At Talentspace, we have helped many organisations to identify the precise skills and qualities that distinguish great employees from poor or even average ones.  Once an organisation has this template in place, they can then interview candidates much more effectively – saving time and money.

“After looking at our churn rate on new staff hires, we realised we needed a more structured and disciplined way of approaching our interview process than our ‘gut feel’. Talentspace worked with us to put a solid competency-based interview process in place and trained our staff on interview techniques. Our churn rate has reduced significantly and we now have full confidence in our hiring and interview approach as we continue to scale our business.” – Ray Jenkin, Chief Operating Officer, technology company Affectv.

Assessment/development centres

Assessment centres are an even more powerful tool for identifying the best employees and managers either to bring into your organisation or to promote into larger roles.  Development centres are usually designed to identify managers’ strengths and development needs so that individual managers, their lines managers and HR can work together to build on their strengths and ensure their continuing success.

“The management assessment centre Talentspace developed for us really raised the bar and hit the right mark. As a result, the centre is more discriminating than what we had in place and provides robust data for assessors to make an informed assessment of potential.” – John Curricat, resourcing manager, HSBC.

At Talentspace, we combine psychological insights with commercial acumen to devise challenging and cost-effective assessment and development centres for selecting and developing your people.

We emphasise the measurement of actual behaviour through business case simulations, analyses of mock financial data, and other tests in which there are right and wrong answers as opposed to relying on self-report questionnaires.

The key to creating an effective assessment/development centre is to test, challenge and assess individuals as thoroughly as a business requires.  Some assessment centres last a half-day while others may last several days. Talentspace assessment and development centres are always developed to meet specific clients’ needs; however, they may incorporate a wide variety of activities including:

  • Business simulations, in-tray exercises, market analyses and/or financial tests (for eample based on mock P&L and balance sheet data)
  • Interactive exercises such as presentation and negotiation exercises, role plays and group discussions
  • In-depth, capability-based (‘competency-based’) interviews
  • Situational judgement tests in which candidates are presented with scenarios and asked how they would respond
  • Psychometric tests measuring both personality preferences as well as specific aptitudes

Our philosophy is that the best assessors are the senior leaders within the organisation itself.  While we at Talentspace help to create an assessment or development centre, we aim to transfer skills and the decision-making back to the organisation by training senior individuals to act as assessors.

Ultimately, our assessment and development centres are designed to be challenging and insightful tests of what people can and can’t do.