Predicting Future Success
Newsletter volume 1 number 12
As interviewers, we tend to overemphasize measurable ways of predicting success in candidates. We tend to look at grades, exam scores or other numerical values. But two bi-coastal studies on MBA graduates conclude otherwise, and support a thorough behavior-based interview evaluation of potential employees.
At Harvard Business School, Professor John Kotter reports on an ongoing study, started in 1974, that shows no positive correlation between GMAT scores and how well graduates perform in their jobs in terms of income and responsibility.
At UC Berkeley's Haas School, graduates who did well five years after graduation in terms of salary and responsibility did so because of high GMAT scores only if they also had behavioral qualities related to "conscientiousness." These qualities included being ambitious, hard working, thorough, efficient and reliable.
Overvaluing a candidate's high scores may also lead to a lack of accountability by the interviewer if the candidate doesn't work out later. It becomes too easy to say, "Don't blame me for hiring him. He had a 3.8 GPA, so how could I know?" Interviewers must move beyond resumé or numerical data to get a complete behavioral picture of how a candidate will perform in the future.