Common Interview Practices Result in Too Many Bad Hires

You know that vacant positions can cause a sense of urgency to fill jobs quickly. Work piles up. Deadlines are approaching. There isn’t enough time in a day or enough hands to help, so it’s tempting to fast-track the hiring process.

But HR is caught in a bind. On one hand there is a temptation to cut corners, but we know cutting corners risks hiring mistakes. Bad hires waste time and create frustration and replacing them can have a detrimental impact on any budget.

Could adding something to the hiring process actually save time and prevent hiring mistakes?

What can be added that both improves Quality of Hire and saves time? You know that a candidate’s skills are not the only thing to consider when finding the right person for an open position. A deep understanding of their personality and background will give a better picture of how they will fit in with the organization’s culture, whether or not they will connect with their potential team members and if they are a team player. However, adding personality tests to your hiring process can eliminate as many A Players as C Players, because the correct answers are easy to find online. And although there are thousands of apps promising to save time, so far, they seem disappointing.

Would adding more competency and behavioral interviews help? Probably not. The questions don’t provide insights that enable you to make accurate predictions about how a person will perform and fit in the company culture. The questions and right answers are, like common personality test questions, readily available online. Vital information will be missed that could lead to the new hire struggling – or the dreaded vacant position to fill again.

decrease your bad hires, improve your hiring processThe Solution: Add a comprehensive chronological career interview.

A comprehensive chronological interview initially covers high and low points of the education years. Then in the bulk of the interview candidates are asked the same 10 questions about every full-time job – what candidates did, how they did, what they liked and didn’t like, what they thought of their managers and vice versa, and why they left.

The beauty of the chronological interview is that interviewers hear about details in every job and patterns of successes and mistakes are naturally revealed. These patterns are revealed within the context of real jobs, so that all of the candidate’s skills, personality, and fit factors become clearer and clearer.

Does the chronological interview work?

There is growing evidence that it does. An American Productivity and Quality Center study of Quality of Hire featured 20 leading companies, and the greatest improvement in Quality of Hire was with companies using a chronological interview. And a Ph.D. dissertation by Michael Lorence (Georgia State) studied companies reporting significant improvements in Quality of Hire using the chronological interview. The companies reported that spending more time (2-3 hours) with finalist candidates actually saved hundreds of hours because of fewer bad hires.

Invest the time to find the right person for the job

It shouldn’t be a surprise that having deep insights into a candidate’s background and work history will lead to a more successful hire. When the hiring team has deeper insights into a candidate, they can avoid surprises later on. When the candidate takes the time to share their full history, they become more vested in the process, and top performers appreciate the opportunity to shine.

Avoid costly hiring mistakes by getting those deep insights into your job candidates from the start. Having a vacant position for a little longer now is better than filling it with the wrong person and having to refill it again soon.

According to Glassdoor, a corporate job opening will attract an average of 250 resumes – do you have time to review each one?

One way to ease the burden on the hiring team is to utilize technology that creates a more efficient applicant review process. This puts only the most qualified candidates in the running without having to waste time weeding through hundreds of resumes.


Improve your hiring success by decreasing your number of bad hires with Topgrading. Our proven hiring process will transform your selection methodology so that you get better hiring results.  Our leadership and candidate assessment tools will help you assess, hire, retain, and grow outstanding team members. Contact us to learn more!

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