What is a “Top-Grading” Interview?

March 25, 2010 at 6:12 pm Leave a comment

This term is being used more frequently in the HR world and refers to identifying the top 10% of performers in the interview practice. The methodology “relies on unusually detailed, chronological interviews; conclusions are gleaned from patterns which have emerged across layers of competencies as interviewers probe every success, failure, relationship, and major decision in a person’s career.” From the topgrading.com website, the interviews are:

Chronological: Job by job through the candidate’s entire career history.

In-depth: Detailed information about every success, failure, key decision and relationship.
Structured: The interviewer follows a structured interview, a “road map,” that ensures they get all the relevant data.

Some sample questions include:

  • What are a couple of the best and worst decisions you have made in the past year?
  • Describe a situation or two in which the pressures to compromise your integrity were the strongest you have ever felt.
  • What are examples of circumstances in which you were expected to do a certain thing and, on your own, went beyond the call of duty?

Conducting a top-grading interview is quite intense for both the interviewee and the interviewer!  Preparation for these kind of interviews however is the same for how you would prepare for a behaviorial interview-you have got to know your work history, accomplishments, talents, and skills backwards and forwards, and have at least 20 different interview answer “stories” that you have practiced repeatedly before the interview. Don’t be scared by the term “top-grading,” like in any situation the interviewer is looking for the most qualified person for the job, their “A” player. It could be you!


Entry filed under: Uncategorized.

So you’ve been rejected after the interview-now what? Mom is Going Back to Work!

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