One of the most challenging aspects of interviewing candidates is discovering the “real” candidate. Let’s face it; all candidates put their best foot forward in an interview. The hiring solutions outlined here will help you penetrate the interviewing facade so you can accurately assess each candidate’s fit for the job.
Before candidates become comfortable sharing revealing information about themselves you first must establish rapport and an atmosphere of trust. This is established through the initial icebreaker questions and the manner in which you structure the interview.
As the interview progresses into the candidates work history and experience the discussion of factual data puts the candidate further at ease, and serves as a springboard for obtaining more subjective, insightful information.
You have the right to delve into candidates’ specific ability to do the job. This means you must focus interview questions to elicit proof their knowledge, skills, and personal attributes.
When candidates indicate they have a specific quality, skill or trait you must obtain supporting evidence that evaluate it against the requirements of the job. This means eliciting revealing examples of how that quality, skill or trait was exhibited.
To probe more sensitive, revealing areas, open-ended performance-directed questions will help gauge how a candidate’s experiences compare with the position’s critical job dimensions.
For example, if organizational ability is a prime job requirement, you might ask, “Was yesterday a fairly typical day?” If the candidate says yes, you can seek detailed evidence by asking, “Then please describe your day for me. When did you begin? When did you end? Where and how did you spend your time?” Listen carefully to what they say and don’t say. When the candidate’s response is vague or incomplete, additional probing with evidence-seeking questions elicits specific, measurable proof of performance. Keep exploring until you get an accurate picture of how the candidate actually performed. Insist upon specific examples. Without them, critical job dimensions may be impossible to evaluate.
Don’t Lead or Project
Be careful not to project or lead candidates towards specific responses by saying something like, “Do you prioritize your calls?” Instead let candidates fill in the blanks with what they actually do. Ask, “What you did next?” or,”Why did you choose that customer?” The burden of proof is upon the candidate, but it’s up to you to explore every area that is relevant. Take the time needed to create the right atmosphere so that candidates comfortably share how they perform and who they really are are.
Making good hiring decisions is essential for business success. Using these hiring solutions as a guide will help prevent surprises and increase the chances of hiring the candidate that is best for you.