A round of resumes for the upcoming season are beginning to circulate within our audit and consulting office. Undoubtedly, the traditional interviewing process will fall short, resulting in regrettable new hires.

It's time to add additional testing procedures for candidates, much like we would for any high-risk area of an audit. I'm shocked that the typical formal interview is considered adequate grounds to determine whether or not to hire a candidate. Formal interviews are dull and boring, much like a salad without the dressing. There are many possible complements to the traditional interview. Three of the more useful ones are discussed below.

Candidates should have their second interview in a much less formal setting with no scripted questions, just real talk. Toss that snug-fitting, often uncomfortable, formal attire and go to a sporting event, an amusement park, or, dare I say, go to the bar. Observe the candidate in a much more relaxed setting. See if they are the same person who knocked your socks off in the formal interview.

Candidates should be required to take an aptitude test. A short test taking as little as 15 minutes would certainly add another valuable tool to examine before choosing the right candidate. This makes it certain whether or not the candidate resembles Homer the Theologian or Homer Simpson.

Writing skills demonstrating clear, concise thoughts are extremely valuable for the accounting profession. Candidates should be required to prepare an impromptu written work such as a short essay or opinion letter. Again, in as little as 15 minutes, a representation of the individual's written abilities can make it much easier come selection time.

It's time to be more progressive and add the dressing to the stale, garden-variety salad interview.

Andrew Golden, CPA


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