Strange as it may seem, interviewers seem to be more impressed with what candidates could do instead of what they have done.
Based on an experiment run by Zakary Tormala and Jayson Jia of Stanford and Michael Norton of Harvard Business School research participants declared that a rookie basketball player with a given set of projected performance stats would deserve a salary of $5.25 million after five years as a professional, but a five-year pro who had actually achieved such stats would deserve just $4.26 million.
Assuming the validity of this experiment, hiring companies should ensure that their interviewing skills training programs teach interviewers to emphasize and understand past achievements based upon a specific set of pre-determined competencies without getting overly swayed by unknown (yet appealing) potential.
To keep a balanced approach:
- Utilize open-ended questions
- Understand how they personally performed in the past
- Manage the flow of the interview to stick with past accomplishments
- Evaluate and compare specific past situations
- Probe for limitations and concerns