Choking on Behavioural Interviews or Psych Testing?

In today's constantly evolving world of recruitment, Behavioral based Interviews combined with Psychometric Testing have become almost standard procedure across any robust recruitment process. How a Candidate responds to these assessments during a recruitment process generally has a major influence on an Employers hiring decision. Yet I'm constantly amazed at how many candidates are either under prepared, out of practice, or simply lack the ability to clear these hurdles. Even more surprisingly, they are often talent interviewing for executive level positions.

Virtue Mindmap

So if you’re out in the market looking for a new role, it’s important to realise that whilst a track record of success combined with employment sponsors is a positive, it’s often not enough to win a prime new role if you can’t execute brilliantly across the interview selection process. The issue is a new employer can only judge what you can put in front of them on the day. So if you don’t perform first up or further down the track across a psych profile – that dream job you’re chasing (and expecting you should get) can simply evaporate!

After nearly 30 years in professional recruitment, I believe some people who don’t perform under test conditions can still be in the real world very good employees. However if employers are committed to a formal standardised assessment process, candidates need to understand they will let “good people” fall through the cracks for the greater good of a consistent hiring process.

If you’re looking in the job market, my advice is practice makes perfect! The more research you can store in your head around answers and examples for behavioural based interview questions and the more practice you can put into psych testing (particular abstract or numeric reasoning) – the more jobs you’ll stay in the hunt for and better still be offered!


A final word for employers though – I’ve had plenty of experience meeting candidates who have behavioural interviewing down “parrot fashion” who can “talk the talk” but not “walk the walk” – however that is a possible topic for another day…..