By: Audra Wyant
When it comes to finding the right candidate, technology can create an illusion of time and money savings. The ease of interviewing qualified candidates through video conferencing and over the phone seems to make sense; conversations, appearance, and poise all translate through the screen.
But what happens to the important interpersonal and nonverbal communication that occurs during an in-person interview? How do eye contact, handshakes, table manners, mannerisms, and empathy translate through a computer monitor?
Adkisson Search Consultants have found immense success in cultivating relationships and interviewing candidates in-person. Their willingness to invest time in the search process has resulted in a better investment for their clients.
“Technology is great in how quickly we are able to connect. But it creates voids in the fundamental interpersonal communication that must occur during a candidate search process,” explains Michelle Houchin, President, Adkisson Search Consultants.
When Adkisson Search Consultants conduct a search for an executive, the utmost importance is placed on in-person interviews as they are the best way to evaluate character, leadership skills, and professionalism. This applies to all key personnel within the organization including members of the search committee and leadership teams. This upfront time investment allows Adkisson Search Consultants to obtain a complete understanding of the desired leadership qualities, knowledge, and experience needed in a candidate.
“In-person interviews are the best way to better understand the candidate personally as well,” says Shannon McKay, Vice-President, Adkisson Search Consultants. “The dialogue that occurs with someone in-person gives you a better idea about their hobbies, interests, and values. This connection allows a candidate to relax and show their true-self more so than they would through other interviewing processes.”
“To have a firsthand view of the candidate’s emotional intelligence is another reason in-person interviews are crucial,” adds Houchin. “We look for nonverbal cues on recognition, comprehension, reactions to complex questions, as well as how they harness their emotions while thinking and problem solving. Clients look to us to judge and evaluate the leaders of their industry. We do this best through in-person interviewing.”
Another nonverbal cue that disappears during video or phone interviewing is the pausing that occurs at the end of a participant’s words and the beginning of another’s. Stephen Levinson explains in The Atlantic January 2016 article “The Incredible Thing We Do During Conversations” that the elite behavior of humans is the rapid pace at which we can respond to another person during a conversation. The typical time between a turn during a conversation is 200 milliseconds and this timeframe is similar across different cultures. This shows we listen to words while simultaneously crafting our responses during our partner’s turn. The length of the gap can change, depending on the flow of the conversation.
“These conversational gap adjustments are the key assessment in how quickly a candidate can think on their feet. Technology often adds to or alters these conversational gaps and creates awkward pauses that don’t happen in-person. It may seem like a candidate is taking too long to think of a response simply because of a technical glitch. We’re not receiving an accurate representation of the pauses that occur between turns,” describes McKay.
With in-person interviews and on-site visits, Adkisson Search Consultants are more effective at bringing the right people together. Technology is a vital tool in today’s business world. When it comes to finding the perfect candidate for leadership positions, however, technology can contribute to an inefficient and ill-informed search process. Adkisson Search Consultants are trusted leaders in connecting businesses with the right candidates. They invest more in the search process to ensure that your investment means more.
Wyant, A. (2016 June). Making your investment matter with in-person interviews. Lexington, IL
Levinson, S. (2016 January). The incredible thing we do during conversations. Retrieved from http://www.theatlantic.com/science/archive/2016/01/the-incredible-thing-we-do-during-conversations/422439/