Interviewing, Why Do You Still Do It The Same Way?

I was interviewing Clint Smith, co-founder of Emma, for an upcoming EntreLeadership Podcast when he said something that jumped out at me. We were discussing when his company realized that doing short interviews in the hiring process didn’t  work. To which he said, “Early on, we revamped our process.” 

The key is they revamped EARLY in the process. As I travel around the country, I meet leaders and entrepreneurs who tend to have the same thing in common when it comes to this hiring thing— they keep doing the same ineffective, non-productive style of interviewing. They talk to a few people once or twice and hire someone, only to find out 30 to 90 days later the new team member just isn’t working out.

The twelve steppers have a name for this—INSANITY! By their definition, insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting a different result. As a leader, you have to recognize when something isn’t working well inside your organization. No matter how bogged down and chaotic your life is at the time, all you’re doing is perpetuating the problem when you don’t revamp your processes.

When you see there is a problem, ask yourself the following questions:

  • Is there something not working with this process? If so, what exactly is it? Can I pinpoint the problem by looking at the situation? If not, can anyone else on my team see that there’s a problem?
  • Now that I know there’s something wrong, what in the world can I do to fix it?! What NEW processes can I put in place to make sure this doesn’t continue to happen? Will the new processes become part of my company’s culture? If so, how am I going to share them companywide on a consistent basis?
  • Now that I’ve successfully revamped this particular situation, what other areas in my organization need a hard look? What do my team members think is broken and needs some quick attention?

As you do this, you will find that it takes time to save time. A little bit of effort on the front side will save you a looooooot of time on the back.

Question: What steps do you take to change broken processes? 



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Meet Chris LoCurto


Chris has a heart for changing lives by helping people discover the life and business they really want.

Decades of personal and leadership development experience, as well as running multi-million dollar businesses, has made him an expert in life and business coaching. personality types, and communication styles.

Growing up in a small logging town near Lake Tahoe, California, Chris learned a strong work ethic at home from his full-time working mom. He began his leadership and training career in the corporate world, starting but at E'TRADE.

29 thoughts on “Interviewing, Why Do You Still Do It The Same Way?”

  1. Working for a large healthcare organization, my hands are usually tied in the way of the hiring process. First, the HR representative filters prospective hires, then they come my way for interviewing. I do not get to make the initial selections.

    Typically, I am only sent 3 or 4 at a time, but over the past few years, I have learned to slow my process down to find the right fit, and keep asking for more applicants if warranted. (Which, usually is!)

    Our team agrees that it is better to work shorthanded for what could potentially be a few months, rather than rush into a bad hire, and spend several weeks training before realizing they are not the right fit.

    Even though there is a 6 month probationary period for all new hires in my organization, and Florida being a “right to work” state, you would be surprised how hard it is to REMOVE the wrong person, even in the early first few weeks.

  2. Can’t agree more with this! We recently revamped our hiring process – largely thanks to listening to your podcast re: hiring. Our process before was to easy. Weirdos were getting in, and yes – they were crippling us at the worst possible times. (I think weirdos have a built in ‘now is the worst time to shine as a weirdo’ sensor.)

    We extended the process. Instead of one interview with only one person – and a gut decision later, we now have a three stage interview process which ends with a demonstration class. (We normally hire teachers for English courses.)

    Interview one is just the ‘drive by.’ (Loved that from the podcast!) We talked out the time limit of 30 minutes only for that interview. And we also included some important ‘spoiler questions’ to help us weed out obvious ‘weird.’

    Interview two, normally a week after the first one, is more in depth and with a different member of our leadership team. This one is to help us see if the person can tune in with our mission, vision and values as a company.

    Lastly – and again, a week later – the demo class. Also in the presence of a different member of our team.

    What I love – so far we have had like 60% of our potential hires drop out voluntarily along the way – sometimes just at the last stage.

    The ones who have made it through have been ROCKSTARS.

    We’re still watching our process to make sure it’s working, but so far…it’s been great. Thanks for your help and ideas!

    1. BAH!!!! – “I think weirdos have a built in ‘now is the worst time to shine as a weirdo’ sensor.” That’s awesome!!
      I like the process Aaron. Sounds like you guys are doing a great job!

  3. Some days I’m up on my first hire and other days I want to fire him. I mean some days he kills it and others he struggles big time. I’m working hard to lead him well and I’m confident he’ll eventually kill it every day. Of course my first hire was ME so I’m pretty motivated!!!

  4. The procedure and the protocol is what acting as the stumbling block in many instances. The hiring process is so rigid and structured in my organization that it becomes almost impossible for a single person to initiate the change. More depends on the mood of the CEO and the person heading the HRD.

  5. I think the first step to changing a broken process is to realize it’s broken in the first place. And that sounds obvious – but it’s much harder than it sounds. I think we need to be intentional about really examining EVERYTHING to constantly look for things that either don’t work or things that could get even better.

      1. I think it’s part complacency and part urgency. After a while of doing things a certain way, people stop questioning its validity. Also, I think a lot of times we’re dealing with smaller matters that feel more urgent – so we never take the time to take that step back and look at things.

  6. When evaluating a broken process, I ask myself:

    1. What do I feel is working? What do I feel is not working?
    2. What are the pro’s and what are the con’s to changing the process?
    3. How long will I test the new process before implementing it as policy?
    4. Whose feedback needs to be involved in this process besides mine?
    5. What is the end result that I am trying to accomplish?

    Usually, in those 5 steps, I have the foundation of what I need to analyze further and make necessary changes. You have to be willing to look at all angles, not just one for a complete workable change.

    Great post!

  7. Lily_Kreitinger

    I’ve been on both sides of the hiring process. I think some organizations dismiss a good candidate because they don’t match 100% of their wishlist for the “ideal candidate”. Others hire someone with a pulse and a driver’s license.

    If people cannot explain why a certain process is conducted in a certain way, it is likely that the process need to be revised.

    I say if you’re hiring, do the candidate and your company a favor: if they’re great and trainable, give them an opportunity AFTER you have gotten to know then quite well. If they’re great but NOT a good cultural fit, send them home. You and them will win and be thankful!

  8. I think many managers and companies in general are afraid to change processes, even if they are broken, because of the risk of failure. Staying put, even if not effective, is often more comfortable than change. It’s easier to blame a broken system than actually fix the system. The manager must know that he has the support and even encouragement of his superiors when making changes. Failure is okay because new things are learned through every trial. The more failures you have, the closer you are to a success. This is often the opposite way companies, especially larger corporations, think. I’ve seen time and time again broken processes remain broken because the decision maker is too afraid of the “What Ifs.” If you don’t try the “what ifs” you’ll never know the answer. The answer could be your next greatest success.

  9. We actually took the book “Start with Why” and used some of the principles and examples when presenting some operational changes to the sales team. Some changes which the operations felt sales would not like. And they didn’t. But – it helped to start with why. Why did the changes need to happen? What would be the benefit of the changes to the entire team? How would the changes be implemented?

    It helped to “start with why”!

  10. Love this definition: insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting a different result.
    That’s one of the reasons I left my last job.
    As for interviewing…
    When I was interviewed for my current position, they let my husband sit in on it, ‘if that was okay with me’. I told them, sure! I had heard of interviewing with spouses before, from the Dave Ramsey organization. They said, that’s where we got the idea!
    btw, I was interviewed by my boss and his wife 🙂
    Completely agree with your post!

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