LinkedIn’s Interviewing Advice is Absurd

LinkedIn recently came out with a guide entitled The Interviewing Questions You Should Be Asking. The introduction states: Interviewing isn’t easy, but the process isn’t going anywhere.

Interviewing should “go somewhere.” Topgrading has taken hiring interview success from a common 25% high performers hired to an average of 85% high performers hired across dozens of companies. In defense of LinkedIn, they just asked a lot of hiring managers how they interview and they reported the extremely common, but fatally flawed, methods.

This blog shows why common interviewing methods result in mostly bad hires, and will give you the common-sense Topgrading methods you can start using today — methods that will make you a hiring ninja, and boost your career success.

Why hiring results frustrate every manager:

  1. 40% of candidates hype their resumes and interviews
  2. Reference checking is often worthless (but the most common way to try to verify what candidates tell you)
  3. Interview questions do not reveal nearly enough

This is why the Conference Board 2020 survey of CEOs says the #1 concern of CEOs is talent (ie. poor hiring).

What’s “lame” about the LinkedIn recommended questions (which are unfortunately very common):

  • LinkedIn suggests focusing on only five skills (competencies) for each job. For Sales Rep, for example, they recommend Ambition, Integrity, Adaptability, Customer-centric, and Proactivity. Those five are fine, but insufficient. Topgraders identify two dozen competencies, ALL of which are important. LinkedIn’s recommended questions for Sales Rep will NOT focus on Relationship Building, Approachability, or Taking Ownership (for results). In Topgrading For Sales, the model adds Pragmatism, Motivation, Empathy/Listening, Negotiation Skills, and many others. You tell me if you would hire a candidate deficient in any of those competencies. The LinkedIn questions are like Swiss cheese, with holes that guarantee you will NOT gain insights into most of the essential competencies. Below, you’ll learn how you can interview candidates for dozens of competencies (you really can).
  • LinkedIn’s recommended questions are way too easy for candidates to fake.
    • “Tell me about a time you received criticism or feedback from your manager or a client.” Easy Answer: “Hmm, my manager gives me lots of feedback, almost all positive, because I consistently exceed quotas. Oh, but she says if I want to be promoted to manager someday I should spend more time coaching reps who aren’t performing so well. Good point, but I’m applying for Senior Sales Representative with Acme and all I want to do the next couple of years is far exceed my Acme quotas.”
    • “Tell me about a project that did not go well but you managed to succeed.”
    • “What’s the most interesting thing about you that is not in your resume?”
    • “Tell me about a time you were asked to do something you’d never done before.”

Just google how to answer interview questions or buy a book on how to get a job, and you’ll see what candidates see – how EASY it is to fake interviews.

How Topgrading solves those top 3 hiring problems and achieves 85%+ hiring success:

  1. Candidate dishonesty: Candidates are told a final step in hiring is for them (not you) to arrange reference calls with bosses and others you choose. This “truth serum” has worked for over 40 years, for leading companies and startups alike. Low performers drop out so you only interview honest, sharp candidates.
  2. Poor validation of what candidates claimed: You already know – candidate-arranged reference calls with their bosses – the best validation imaginable.
  3. Unrevealing interviews: The Topgrading Interview reveals everything, and yes, you “nail” insights into dozens of competencies. It’s a chronological interview of honest candidates, so you ask about all their jobs – all the important successes, failures, relationships, decisions, and appraisals by bosses (whom you will talk with).

Conclusion: Common interviewing methods are fatally flawed, and by asking managers whose hiring success is only 25%, LinkedIn, though well-meaning, only perpetuated flawed hiring methods. Topgrading has made interviewing so easy that the average manager in mega-companies and tiny ones achieve 85% high performers hired.

For more details, download our free eGuide: Topgrading 101.

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