sheldonThe Rigorous Interview Process: What Are Employers Testing For and Why?

If you are job hunting or soon will be with graduation nearing, odds are you are acutely aware that employment competition is fierce and that desirable organizations are very selective about who they invite into their culture. The more you use the research skills you learned in school, the more you discover that having a degree no longer guarantees even getting an interview, let alone a job.

There are very good reasons why conditions have evolved to this current state. One reasons being that the number of people earning undergraduate and graduate degree has been exponentially growing, literally for decades. Your competition, who are also looking at the job you want, has at least your degree or more. Another equally good reason for conditions being what they are is a world-wide awareness that being smart—demonstrated by your education—is necessary, but insufficient for making you a consistently competent and reliable employee. Past experiences with bad hires has made all desirable employers aware of other factors that combined with cognitive intelligence (IQ) afford you the criteria to be invited to participate in the selection process of the employer you want to work for.

Those desirable employers no longer just interview once your resume gets you in the door.  They profile you by using standardized questionnaires, some more thorough than others, and interview you using life focused questions extensively probing your answers. They then put your references through an equally exhaustive interview process. Given the extensive resources this process requires it is no wonder that a degree is necessary, but not enough to get you in the door.

Perhaps Sheldon Cooper of the sitcom Big Bang Theory inadvertently offered a solution for overcoming this new age challenge when he said, “I’m not crazy, my mother had me tested.” When in context this is humourous, in real-life this is exactly what prospective employers are worried about—recognizing that brilliance does not preclude unstable, yet unstable is always a bad hire.

Putting into measurable and observable terms, the concept ‘crazy’ is tested differently by employers albeit with a common theme.  The profile created by their process is given significant weight and in most instances advances you to the interview phase or not.

The challenge for job seekers today is to standout from the competition. Like Sheldon Cooper, but a more sophisticated validation of who you are as a person is required. A professionally prepared profile that is part of your employment can give you that advantage to help you get in the door. For more information on on how a personalized profile can help, click here.