From the Desk of Brad Smart: Are Your Interviews as Revealing as Speed Dates?

If you’re new to Topgrading, this blog will give you a hint that will make all of your hiring interviews the most revealing and honest of your career. Topgrading’s “secret” takes seconds to use and you’ll immediately know that the interviewee is being real, authentic and is not ‘BS’ing you.’ It’s like playing the roulette wheel and knowing in advance if the ball will land on red, black, or green.

Question:  Are Your Interviews as Revealing as Speed Dates?

“No, of course not,” you reply, “my selection interviews are about as revealing as … ummm … first dates.” Thought so. I haven’t been on a first date for over half a century but from watching movies and reading divorce stats, I’m guessing that on first dates:

  • Both parties are extremely conscious of the impression they are making.
  • They want to be honest, but favor exhibiting their nice side and hiding their not-so-nice side.

Followers of Topgrading (blogs) know that more than 60% of resumes contain serious lies … because job seekers know most companies discourage managers from taking reference calls about former employees. In turn, their answers continue the charade that drives you nuts: you know you’re being gamed but you have to hire someone so … ¾ of the people you hire turn out to disappoint, because the candidates “fooled you.”

If you’re not a Topgrader (yet) and want a quick fix, here it is:

Tell interviewees that a final step in hiring is for them to arrange reference calls with managers they reported to (usually when a job offer is discussed).

We call this the Topgrading Truth Motivator. A Players are eager to comply and BS’ers pause, gulp, and say no need for this interview because they don’t really want the job (or maybe they feel their idealized social profile will be found out).

The experience for you may not be like making a million bucks in Vegas, but about 15-minutes into the very first interview using this technique will make you feel like a million bucks. For the first time you’ll feel confident you are not getting BS’ed, and you’ll thoroughly enjoy the interview. If it turns out that the interviewee is not a good fit, you’ll have no hesitancy moving on. And you’ll be eager to move ahead with candidates who do meet your specs. Instead of your interviews resulting in mostly disappointing performers, you’ll conclude, “I’m a pretty good interviewer.”

Experienced Topgraders know that the Topgrading Interview is by far the most revealing, but if you don’t use it (yet) you will still know that using the Topgrading Truth Motivator will improve your hiring results.

Dr. Brad Smart is Founder and CEO of Topgrading, Inc. Topgrading is dedicated to helping companies of all sizes maximize the hiring of high performers. Topgrading assesses candidates for senior positions (where the costs of mis-hires are high) and trains all managers to create teams of almost all high performers.

Brad has seven published books on hiring; the most recent three (the first, second, and third editions of Topgrading) were all best sellers. Brad, and President Chris Mursau’s new book, Foolproof Hiring (Forbes Books), is available for purchase by clicking here.

Brad can be reached at

To learn more, download our free eGuide or attend our next Topgrading Webinar. Our webinar explains the most effective recruitment methods, how to immediately identify the most honest, high performing applicants, and how to (finally!) verify what candidates tell you (since reference calls are usually worthless).

Contact us to learn more.

Improve your hiring success with Topgrading. Our proven hiring process will transform your selection methodology so that you get better hiring results across all industries, including hiring HR professionals.  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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