13.10.2023 Today’s Insights from Harvard Business Review: How to Evaluate a Candidate’s Critical Thinking Skills in an Interview
Would you like to feel better prepared for tough interviews? We thought so. Would company representatives like to do a more effective job of hiring the right candidates for open roles, so their new recruits, including you and your friends, are all successful? Yes, again. What even ambitious international students like you may not realize is that hiring professionals, whether recruiters or functional managers, are often just as unsure about how to identify a good match – or even more so – than aspiring talent – during the interviewing process!
Thus, the purpose of the HBR article below.
While this piece was intended for professionals conducting the hiring evaluation process, why should we not also leverage it to the benefit of young professionals like you, so as to enlighten you on ways to prepare and respond as impactfully as possible in your upcoming interviews?
The article’s three authors, leaders within American Express, Google and Columbia Business School, respectively, home in on critical thinking as a key element to assess among new hires. Yet, what exactly does this term mean? In their own words, “Critical thinking is seeking information from various sources, assessing its credibility, and determining its relevance and veracity. Often classified as a higher-order skill, critical thinking is not a single skill, but a collection of skills involving reasoning, constructing sound arguments, and identifying a situation’s flaws, biases, logic, or inconsistencies… Critical thinking requires the candidate to carefully and logically analyze facts and form a judgment.”
Given such a broad definition, there’s no getting around that aspiring talent like you will be assessed on this key competency in various ways throughout an interview. The writers suggest one way for hiring leaders to do so – to conduct what they call a “flip interview,” resembling a case study evaluation within a consulting firm. A collaborative, dynamic exercise, this approach requires ambitious international student applicants like you to demonstrate “in the moment” reasoning, which, of course, you will frequently be called upon to do on-the-job, in any meaningful opportunity within a global company.
Why not practice such techniques – and get honest feedback on the interpretations of your responses – in Mandarin Consulting coaching sessions? Doing so will elicit and build your judgment, curiosity and analytical skills, helping you to flex the muscles of agility that are so greatly in demand. Students like you and your friends who aspire to global leadership roles will likely feel all the more confident after doing so, as well.