The interview with Magnet Consulting that will answer your questions about hiring the best team and finding your most successful staff.

What is one thing hiring managers or business owners often do incorrectly when interviewing?

MC: Our experience is that they are WAY too focused on specific experience. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve heard a hiring manager say “there are just no good candidates” when what they mean is no candidate has done exactly what the job is. It’s a bit like they are looking for someone doing the exact same job for a competitor to waltz through their door.

I thought experience was important. So what are you saying they should do instead?

MC: They should look for job-related competencies and not only experiences. Competency transfers across experiences. I don’t need to have been, for example, a retail manager before to be a retail manager today. If I’ve demonstrated the ability to supervise people or great customer service in a different setting, I can most likely do it in yours. Instead of fixating on experience, look for transferable competencies.

How does a company identify these competencies? Or are you saying it’s always Supervisory Skills and Customer Service?

MC: Oh no, it’s definitely not always the same competencies! The best way to know the right list of job-related competencies is to have a professionally conducted job analysis. Basically, industrial/organizational psychologists are trained to ask the right questions to identify and document the competencies.

Once I know the competencies, am I good to go?

MC: Working with an organizational psychologist who is trained in creating interview guides and choosing other selection tools that are designed to measure the competencies is truly the best way to fine tune the hiring process. Interviewing may seem easy, but did you know that the typical unstructured interview has basically zero validity? This means you stand just as good a chance picking the right candidate pulling names from a hat. Pretty crazy, huh? And yet all over the world people keep doing these interviews…I think mostly because they don’t know there’s a better way. When you add in the potential legal risks of using an interview that hasn’t been designed properly—yes, there are legal risks — you realize that doing it correctly really is worth it. The EEOC is always investigating companies big or small for hiring improprieties—it just isn’t worth it to try it on your own.

How does Magnet Consulting help companies hire effectively?

MC: We have organizational psychology as the backbone of our firm. We’ve worked with large and small companies to create hiring practices that include job analysis, structured interviews, and other testing where appropriate for the role. The process doesn’t have to be complicated or expensive, but it does have to be done correctly, and we have helped many companies do it right time and time again.

Making people play nicely at work since 2012, Magnet Consulting is a People Engagement firm specializing in hiring, training and leadership development. Magnet Consulting was also recently featured in US News. Find out more at or on follow them on LinkedIn for more tips!