We provide competency-based behavioral interviewing training for interview teams including hiring managers, recruiters, and interviewers.
INTERVIEW EDGE • APRIL 1992
When to Screen for Reading and Writing Ability
When English is spoken as a second language (ESL) there are likely to be problems in communication and understanding. But what about EFL – when English is a first language?
What assumptions do we make about reading and writing skills among those we interview, hire, and employ? This is a growing issue with hourly employees whose jobs are becoming more technical.
A recent article in the Harvard Business Review chronicled some of Motorola's discoveries about the literacy of their own workforce and of external candidates.
Motorola reported discovering, "to our utter astonishment that much of our workforce was illiterate. They couldn't read. They couldn't do simple arithmetic like percentages and fractions. At one plant a supplier changed its packaging, and we found in the nick of time that our people were working by color of the package, not by what it said."
Math test scores among employees showed that only 40% could pass a test with questions like "Ten is what percent of 100?". The real surprise came when it was discovered that the poor math performance was due to an inability to read.
For many immigrant employees who spoke ESL, company downsizings eliminated several layers of middle managers who acted as translators. There were no longer people available to take directions in English off a computer screen and put them into spoken English for those who couldn't read or into other languages for those who didn't know English.
When Motorola offered an ESL course at a plant in Florida, they expected three percent of their employees to sign up. The real number was ten times greater and they then realized one-third of their current employees could not read company memos, work order changes, or labels on boxes.
So what's going on in your company? Do you really know? Motorola found out their engineering group writes work order changes, product specifications, and product manuals at an 11th-12th grade level. Yet, the reading level is of those who are supposed to follow them is only at the 4th-6th grade level.
You can screen candidates in the interview, but you may not be able to assess their reading and writing ability.
You can ask them to complete a job application, but did they fill it out themselves? One thing you can insist on is that they fill it out in your offices and not take it with them. This prevents someone else from filling it out for them.
Are you ready to change your procedures or are you willing to live with what Motorola discovered? Remember, EFL does not guarantee literacy.
- Interviewing Candidates Who Prepare With ChatGPT
- Hiring Successful Leaders for a Hybrid World
- Behavioral Interviewing Training Reinvented
- Are Bad Interviews Costing You Good Hires?
- Conducting Effective Performance Reviews Virtually
- Virtual Interviews: The New Benchmark
- Overcome Unconscious Bias in Job Interviews
- How to Interview Sales Candidates
- A Case for Attorney Interviewing Training
- Tech Hiring Fails Without Behavioral Assessment
- Building Relationships with Candidates
- Competency-based Behavioral Interviewing Training
- Questioning Panel Interviews
- Improving the Flawed Interview Process
- Fallacy of "Give Me an Example" Questions
- Real Cost of Hiring Mistakes
- Early Social Competencies Lead to Success
- Why Stress Interviews Don't Work
- Interviewer Training Addresses These Challenges
- Google Validates Behavioral Interviewing Training
- Increase Team Performance By 40%
- How to Interview the Technical Candidate
- Effectively Interviewing New College Graduates
- How Bad Interviews Impact Hiring Results
- Competency Interviewing Narrows Skill Gap
- Sell the Job with Three Paychecks
- Pitfalls of Competencies in Behavioral Interviews
- Three Questions to Keep Your Interviews Legal
- NCHRA:Does Behavior-based Interviewing Still Work?
- Why Bizarre Interview Questions Go Viral
- Training Magazine: Invented Lives
- SHRM: Unconscious Bias in the Hiring Process
- Expand Your Cultural Comfort Zone in the Interview
- Skeptical of the Candidate? Try Three Questions
- Getting Beyond the Resume to Predict Success
- How to Interview and Hire Engineers
- Overcoming First Impressions in an Interview
Ready To Discuss Interviewer Training?
When you login to HirePath® Interview Tools or Effective Interviewing!® Online Learning, you accept the Terms and Conditions Policy, and acknowledge that this user account is for your individual access only.
An email has been sent to you with instructions on how to reset your password.
Interview Edge, Inc. Terms & Conditions Policy
The entire content of this website, including but not limited to text, graphics, logos, images, and multimedia, is the exclusive property of Interview Edge, Inc. and is protected by U.S. and international Copyright laws. You may print portions of this content solely in connection with your use of the services provided on this website as an information resource. Unauthorized duplication or redistribution of this content may violate Copyright, trademark and other laws.
We provide the website on an "as is" and "as available" basis and without warranty or condition of any kind, express or implied. Each user agrees that use of the website is at the user's sole risk. We reserve all right to limit, restrict or terminate access to the website for no reason or any reason whatsoever, including, without limitation, if we believe that user conduct violates applicable law or is harmful to the interests of Interview Edge, Inc. or our clients.
Use of personal Information
Information you provide us
We receive personal information from Website users who submit information directly, such as when they request our training services or register for our online learning. This information typically includes name, company, phone and email address. We may also collect mailing address and phone number for contracts and billing.
How we use the information
We are committed to personal data minimization and limiting use to those processing activities for which consent was given. We use the personal information you provide as necessary to deliver our products or services, or as required for legal compliance or other lawful purposes. We use your personal information to register you for our online user accounts and to directly communicate with you via email or phone. We take reasonable steps to ensure that personal data is accurate, complete, current, and reliable for its intended use.
Information we share
We take reasonable and appropriate measures to protect personal information from loss, misuse and unauthorized access, disclosure, alteration and destruction, considering the risks involved and the nature of the personal information.
Your choices, access and rights
You may have the right to request access to, a copy of, rectification, restriction in the use of, or erasure of your information in accordance with all applicable laws. The erasure of your information shall be subject to applicable state and federal laws. You may visit and browse our Website without providing any personal information, and you can choose not to provide us with the personal information we request. However, choosing not to provide us with certain information that we request may prevent you from accessing or using certain portions of our Website. Upon request, Interview Edge, Inc. will provide individuals with reasonable access to their personal data, and in doing so allowing individuals the opportunity to correct, amend or delete personal data where it is inaccurate, or has been processed without your consent. A request may be denied under certain circumstances, such as where the burden or expense of providing access would be disproportionate to the risks to the privacy of the individual in the case in question, or where the rights of persons other than the individual would be violated.
Our contact information
If you have any questions or concerns about our privacy practices described above, you may reach us at:
Phone: +1 415.459.4800