MeritTraclogo
Banner
blog

Tell Me About YOURSELF!

Tell Me About YOURSELF

Tell Me About YOURSELF!

Date: 30/11/2016 | Posted by: MeritTrac | Category: General


The Need to Understand WHO you hire.

Tell me about yourself. This is one of the most common questions that is asked in a personal interview. I always wonder why and how this question would have evolved. I searched the internet and found zillions of posts with recommendations on how to answer this question in a personal interview. I scanned through a few pages of Google search and found very few credible material on the evolution of this question.

I am guessing how and when this would have got added to the set of interview questions. The ‘Tell me about Yourself’ question would have probably evolved at a time when hiring to critical positions were done based on personal interviews, there was no way to understand, learn and assess candidates – their achievements, background, motivations, interests etc. In the absence of a single source of truth about a candidate, most recruiters would have asked the candidate themselves to ‘assess’ and reveal who they actually are.

How many of us have faced this question? Almost all.

How many of us have been honest in our answers? Not all.

Did some among us lie to get a job? Yes, some would have.

But there could also be a case of people not knowing who they actually are, going by the UNKNOWN SELF concept in johari window. And yet, what they say and project about themselves becomes the Gospel Truth for the interviewer to make the hiring decision.

Would this result in Type 1 or Type 2 errors in hiring? It is anyone’s guess.

Either ways, in today’s hiring scenario where knowledge and talent are the determinants of success and failure, there is no room for a discussion on mass hiring based on interviews ONLY.

The approach of hiring based on Domain knowledge, Skills and Cognitive Abilities are a step ahead in the right direction that corporates have taken. This ensures that candidates who are hired have the necessary knowledge and skills for the specific job and the ability to apply it at the job in hand. Most of the organizations that are serious about their human capital adopt this approach for hiring and hence have a team of experts. But is that enough?

In today’s world and the prevailing workplace dynamics, does having the necessary knowledge, skills and abilities alone guarantee success? This is not always true. Today’s workplace demand employees to work in teams, solve complex problems in collaboration with internal and external experts / stakeholders. Employees at the entry level are expected to interact with customers and take decisions that might have bearing on the company’s standing. In this context, it is important that the candidates hired across levels have the right fitment to the job and the organization.

Some of the leading organizations that have a strategic view to hiring have leveraged personality and behaviour assessments in their hiring process across levels. They consider that Person – Job fit and Person – Organization fit are critical in the long term success of organizations. The right mix of assessments that includes all necessary components of KSAP makes talent measurement holistic and future-proof human capital.

Big Five model continues to be the most trusted theory for assessments in the hiring space. Organizations have laid emphasis on personality traits such as conscientiousness, agreeableness, emotional stability, extraversion, and openness to experience. These traits are found necessary in a large number of job profiles. For example, a sales executive is expected to be an extravert.

A large private bank in Kerala recently hired clerical staff from a database of candidates that included fresh graduates and others under 2 years of experience. In this generation where every employee is a sales force and every interaction with the customer is a possible sales opportunity for a bank, it was decided that enhancing customer service and attracting the best fit employees across the board was necessary. The Bank considered the use of personality and behaviour assessments in conjunction with the Cognitive Abilities tests in their hiring process and reaped rich benefits. On the one hand, they were able to recruit the best fit candidates and on the other, they were able to train and allot them better to various roles in the bank. We expect these employees to be more productive, improve work environment and stay for longer at the bank. These are definitely outcomes that any organization would love to achieve from their Human Resource.

Knowing more about the candidate before they are hired will make the entire hiring process more efficient.