Let’s explore a tale of two hires. In a recent interview cycle, two candidates aced their face-to-face interviews and made it to the final round. Then came the project. Each candidate was tasked with designing a content marketing program that would support the company’s future growth. One drafted a well-written, but otherwise bare bones plan in an unformatted Word document. The other asked questions to clarify the assignment, prepared a 20-page overview and identified growth opportunities and gaps in the content marketing program. The second candidate listed possible titles, calls-to-action, keywords and social tactics.
To avoid the headaches and costs of a bad hiring decision, use project assignments during the interview process to let job candidates demonstrate their capabilities instead of just talk about them. Even if a candidate comes with strong blind references from trusted associates or a network, these techniques won’t necessarily reveal whether the candidate can produce high quality work on deadline, according to Kirsten Newbold-Knipp, Research Director, Gartner for Marketing Leaders.
Why is marketing interviewing broken?
Education pedigrees, self-described results and strong references don’t necessarily reveal actual creative, analytical or strategic capabilities or the ability to produce high quality work on time and at scale. After hiring a candidate using traditional interviewing techniques, one marketing director noted “We learned the hard way that interviewing a candidate was not a way to verify that they could ‘do’ the work.” So how can marketing leaders know a candidate can do the work?