Past Behavior Equals Future Performance

Interviewing Applicants is Better Than Evaluating Someone on Paper,
But Real-World Tests Are The Best Indicators of Future Performance and Success.

During the course of my 20-year career I have learned and put to the test a few universal truths. One, which was recently tried again and proved to be correct, relates to improving recruitment by adding performance tests to more thoroughly evaluate candidates. I recently tried a test in a real-estate transaction to screen the best agents in the community where I live which has 1,000 realtors. Some details of the test I used are outlined below.*

I see this basic process being used to improve both sides (students and schools) of MBA admissions. It is also relevant in several other situations that involve someone evaluating another person’s performance. Employment recruitment is an area that comes to mind after MBA admissions.

As it relates to MBA admissions, here are some key takeaways:
MBA admissions…
– Put prospective students through real-world or theoretical tests that are consistent with the identity and values of your school.
– MBA Admissions should deploy other performance tests in addition to entrance exams such as the GRE and GMAT.
– Must always validate the efficacy of the performance tests (PTs) on students and employers.
– Can compare PTs against other measures such as scores on entrance exams, letters of recommendation and quality of response to essay questions.

Applicants…
– Should always assume they are being tested. So treat every situation equally and always put your best foot and face forward.
– May reverse the behavior-performance test to evaluate key areas within MBA schools such as faculty, admissions and career services.
– Can treat performance testing as a two-way street: 1) To test their ability as an applicant by MBA schools; 2) To evaluate MBA schools for performance prior to enrollment.

MichelleObamaThe main point for MBA admissions, applicants to graduate business schools and candidates for jobs is to test performance. Testing applicants on how they execute today will almost certainly improve outcomes as it relates to future performance.

* Rather than immediately list our house for sale on the market (via the MLS), I called 5 realtors I knew personally who had good reputations and offered to pay them 3% commission if they could bring qualified parties into our home for a private sale. I was totally honest and said they would be one of 5 realtors ‘first in’ and have a head start on selling the home.

Along with performance and delivery on promises, I tracked basic communications such as follow-up, and consideration of common courtesies. These were some barometers we used to evaluate the pool of realtor applicants. We thought these measures would be fair indications of how well they communicated with other agents and prospective buyers. Which, as we soon realized, would become invaluable information to have when deciding which realtor earned the right to list our home.

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