Is Interviewing a Necessary Evil? Or is Interviewing Unnecessarily Evil?

April 11, 2018 11:00 am to 1:30 pm


Is Interviewing a Necessary Evil? Or is Interviewing Unnecessarily Evil?

Presented by Bob Corlett - Founder and President, Staffing Advisors

April 11, 2018
11:00 am - 1:30 pm

RECERTIFICATION CREDIT - This program has been approved for 1.5 hours of SHRM and HRCI recertification credit.


Every employer wants to hire great people. And every potential employee wants a great job in a great organization. But the path to that happening is one of the least efficient methods ever devised to match employers with employees-- the interview process.

Skilled researchers reviewed 85 years of scientific literature to identify the most effective employee selection methods. Of the 19 methods studied, which ones best predicted job performance?

  • The typical unstructured interview came in a dismal 9th.
  • Reference checks came in 13th, years of job experience came in 14th, and years of education came in 16th.

That short list covers all the methods employers commonly use when making a hiring decision—a laundry list of business practices that don’t achieve their intended goal.

Similarly, if you are a candidate looking for your next job, is your approach to interviewing effective at achieving your goals?  For most people the answer is no.  

The Interview Problem: Context

At the heart of the interviewing problem is context—seeing the same issue from the other person’s perspective. Without the proper context for the conversation, interviews result in two people talking at cross-purposes, understanding nothing about each other:

  • The candidate is trying to demonstrate the competencies they think will be important without actually knowing what the employer really thinks it is important. The old advice of “do your research before the interview” rarely helps, because organizational culture and internal business practices are rarely visible externally. As an employee, transferring what you know from one context to another is a challenge. Many candidates make the interviewing mistake of prattling on with off-topic interview answers, without first fully understanding the context of the questions. 
  • The employer could better broadcast what is important in a job, but most do not. Employers also evaluate a candidate’s performance without a full understanding of the candidate’s work environment—this can lead to giving too much credit or blame to the individual. And in the interview itself, the employer often forgets that their business practices—how they organize the work—may not fit the skills of candidates who met with success in other work environments. Employers also tend to forget who they are competing with in hiring, and rarely understand whether their job might be attractive relative to what other employers can offer.  

Session Goals

In this session you will learn how to improve your interview practices to better predict success on the job:

  1. How to structure the interview process.
  2. How to look beyond skills and begin to understand the context of someone’s achievement.
  3. How to handle “groupthink” in the interview process.
  4. How to look beyond superficial confidence and determine real job competence.
  5. How to distinguish short term enthusiasm from true long term passion (one difference between performance in the interview, and performance on the job).


Bob Corlett has been named as one of the 100 most influential people in staffing. He is the founder and President of Staffing Advisors, a local executive search firm, and is a frequent speaker at SHRM chapter meetings in the region. Bob writes a nationally syndicated weekly column for the Business Journals, and he is a founding member of the Editorial Advisory Board for The HR Examiner.



11:00 - 11:45 am  Lunch and Networking
11:45 - Noon  Welcome and Announcements
Noon - 1:30 pm  Program

Refund Policy:  Refund requests must be made via email to  No refunds will be provided for this event after April 6.

Location Details: 

Partnership for Public Service
1100 New York Avenue, NW, Suite 200 East
Washington, DC 20005

Metro Center  (Red, Blue, Silver, Orange)
One block (0.2 miles)

Gallery Place/Chinatown (Red, Green, Yellow)
3 blocks (0.4 miles)

Event Registration

Non-member price: $75.00