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Beyond the Standard Questions: Innovative Interview Tests to Discover the Best Candidates

When it comes to hiring new employees, there's no shortage of advice on how to conduct interviews. However, many interview techniques rely on traditional questions and a candidate's ability to sell themselves in a short period of time. While these methods can be helpful, they may not provide a comprehensive view of a candidate's abilities or potential fit for your company.

That's where innovative interview tests come in. By using tests that go beyond the standard interview questions, you can gain valuable insights into a candidate's problem-solving skills, work style, personality, and more. In this blog post, we'll explore some of the most effective interview tests you can use to evaluate job candidates. From role-playing exercises to personality assessments to technical tests, we'll give you the tools you need to make informed hiring decisions and build a team that's poised for success.

Role-playing exercises:

Role-playing exercises can be used to evaluate a candidate's problem-solving and communication skills. For example, if hiring for a nursing role, you might create a scenario where the candidate has to handle a medical emergency or a difficult patient interaction. If hiring for a customer service role, the candidate may have to handle a difficult customer complaint. During the exercise, observe how the candidate approaches the situation, communicates ideas, and handles obstacles. Afterwards, debrief with the candidate to gain insight into their self-awareness and ability to reflect on their performance. Overall, role-playing exercises can be a valuable tool for evaluating a candidate's fit for the job.

Work samples:

Asking candidates to bring in samples of their work or complete a task similar to what they would do in the role can provide valuable insights into their abilities and work style in the health & social care industry. For example, if hiring for a nursing position, you might ask the candidate to provide a sample care plan they have developed for a patient. Or, if hiring for a social worker role, you might ask the candidate to complete a case management task within a specific time frame.

These types of assessments allow you to evaluate a candidate's technical skills, attention to detail, and ability to meet deadlines in a health & social care context. Additionally, it can give you a better sense of their work style and how they approach tasks related to the role. By assessing their work samples or completed tasks, you can make more informed hiring decisions and find a candidate who is the right fit for the job in the health & social care industry.

Cognitive ability tests:

These tests measure a candidate's ability to solve problems, learn quickly, and think critically. You can use a variety of cognitive tests, such as logic puzzles, math problems, or spatial reasoning challenges.

Below is a FREE download of sample questions and answers for an Arithmetic placement, Reading Comprehension placement and Sentence Skills placement test. This link will take you to the College Board website which has other free downloads.

Interview Math & English Questions
Download PDF • 53KB

Personality assessments:

Personality tests are an effective tool for evaluating a candidate's temperament, work style, and communication preferences. These assessments can provide insights into a candidate's personality traits, such as their level of extraversion, openness, and agreeableness. This information can be valuable when determining how well a candidate may fit within a particular work environment or team dynamic.

There are a variety of personality tests available, such as the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator or the DISC assessment. These tests can help you better understand a candidate's strengths and weaknesses and can be used to guide interview questions or inform your decision-making process. By incorporating personality tests into your hiring process, you can gain a more complete picture of a candidate's potential fit for the role and the company culture.

Behavioural interviewing:

The behavioural interviewing technique involves asking candidates to describe how they handled specific situations in the past. This approach allows you to gain insight into how the candidate thinks and acts in real-world situations. For example, if hiring for a nursing role, you might ask the candidate to describe a time when they had to handle a challenging patient situation. By asking follow-up questions, you can gain insight into their problem-solving skills, communication style, and ability to handle high-pressure situations.

This approach can also be used to evaluate a candidate's empathy and compassion, which are important qualities in the health and social care industry. By asking about a candidate's experience working with patients or clients, you can better understand how they approach caregiving and their ability to connect with those they serve.

Cultural fit assessments:

Ensuring a good cultural fit is important when hiring a new employee. Asking questions that relate to your company's values and mission can help you determine if a candidate is a good fit for your organization. For example, if your company places a high value on collaboration, you might ask the candidate how they have worked with others in the past or describe a time when they had to resolve a conflict within a team.

By asking questions that relate to your company's values and mission, you can get a better understanding of how the candidate aligns with your organization's culture. This can help you find a candidate who not only has the skills and experience to do the job but also fits well with the company culture and has the potential for long-term success in the role.

Technical tests:

When hiring for technical roles in the health and social care industry, it's crucial to evaluate a candidate's technical knowledge and skills. Simulating tasks or exercises that they would perform on the job can provide valuable insights into their technical aptitude. For instance, if hiring for a healthcare IT role, you might ask the candidate to troubleshoot a technical issue or develop a software prototype. Similarly, for a nursing position, you might ask the candidate to demonstrate their knowledge of medical procedures or protocols.

These types of assessments can help you evaluate a candidate's technical proficiency, problem-solving skills, and attention to detail. By using job-related tasks or exercises, you can gain a more accurate picture of the candidate's ability to perform in the role and make an informed hiring decision in the health and social care industry.


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