I recently went through a TED talk by Gil Winch, a psychologist and entrepreneur. The talk was a part of The Way We Work, a TED original video series where leaders and thinkers offer practical wisdom and insight into how we can adapt and thrive amid changing workplace conventions. He talks about the reverse screening process for interviews that would bring out the best in the candidate.

Gil explains how stressful a traditional job interview is, and addresses it as ‘a one-sided high-pressure interrogation’ guaranteed to create a psychological strain. He states that one can never show their true potential when put in high-pressure situations and this would cause the managers to miss out on candidates who could become true assets to the company.

Gil is the founder of CY, an outsource call center, completely operated by the so-called ‘Underdogs’. He runs his enterprise as successful as any other high-end companies with extremely intelligent workers and strongly believes that job screenings should evaluate candidates on their performance while they are in their best condition, calm and relaxed, and not the other way.

What held me throughout the talk was the process of ‘reverse screening’ CY uses to hire candidates, which practically goes opposite to the traditional approach. Here is what they do:

  • Lowering anxiety and insecurity: CY provides the candidates with a short questionnaire about their hobbies, passion and interests. The interview begins with discussions on these hobbies and interests which would help the managers to assess the verbal skills and the personality of the candidate. Gil suggests that the interviewers need to be more welcoming and approachable, and help candidates feel emotionally comfortable.
  • Provide Familiar Contexts: CY assesses the candidates based on their performance in response to the real-life practical examples they provide. This would help the candidates perform for their ‘actual job’ and ease them out.
  • Help them go beyond the stuck points: Helping the candidates when they are stuck at a point to see how well they adapt and learn. Adaptability being extremely necessary for an employee, specifically entry-level employees, helping them out rather than pressurizing at the stuck point would cheer up the candidate for the upcoming process.

As students who would soon be turning into professionals, this would be the kind of screening we all are looking forward to. The concept of bringing out a candidate’s performance at his/her best and not the worst is something that would probably bring about a change in the whole process.

Find the link to Gil’s talk here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6UiU99_tE7I&t=209s

On a quest to find myself.