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Hire Better Talent by Using Interview Projects

Learn first-hand whether a candidate is a good fit for the team by incorporating role-based assignments at strategic times during the interview process.

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?

Learn more on Smarter With Gartner website about how to use and set up interview projects to validate capabilities, how to tailor projects to role and experience level, how to establish time and scope and be transparent about project purpose, along with the first steps to help you get started.

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