We all agree that looks can be deceiving and we shouldn’t judge a book by its cover. In reality, we all judge people by what we see. The job market gives birth to thousands of potential employees on a daily basis and some of them will apply for a position in your company. The main question is – how do you pick the perfect candidate?
Conduct an unconventional interview
Let’s be honest, traditional interviews are a bore. They basically look like a staged play with interviewee knowing what they will be asked and the interviewer knowing what the answers would sound like. Does this help you find the right candidate? Certainly not. Instead of replaying this dull scenario over and over again, try and present your candidates with challenging questions that are likely to show you who they really are. The questions can range from the silliest (What is your favorite color and why?) all the way to the most personal ones (What is your biggest fear?).
Ask for another opinion
A lot of us think we have an extraordinary ability to judge a character after only a few sentences but is this really so? The truth is we usually overestimate our talent to evaluate someone’s personality. Different people spot different things and the same goes for job interviews. There is a big possibility your colleagues will observe a quality or a disadvantage of a candidate that you may have missed. For this reason, it’s a good idea to conduct panel interviews where you and two or three of your colleagues will assess the candidates.
Don’t rely on references alone
While it is true that resumes provide all the capital information about a candidate, you should always perform double checks and dig deeper. Spotting a lie in a resume can be done by a little help of some tell-tale signs such as insufficient specifications about a prior job and a candidate’s inability to clarify their duties. You can check their LinkedIn accounts or even inquire into their police clearance or criminal records.
Put them to the test
It may sound surprising but you can test your candidates even before you conduct an interview. You can conduct a pre-screening interview beforehand or assign them a project that may require individual or team work and see how they perform. If you want to go a step further, you can observe their competence without them being aware they’re being tested. One way of doing it is to ask a member of your executive team to have a leisurely conversation with a candidate before they go into the interview room or give them a tour around the company and see how they behave.
Pay attention to their curiosity
Curiosity is probably one of the most valuable traits a modern-day employee should possess. Not only because it demonstrates their passion for learning new skills but also because it propels them toward new ideas and innovative problem-solving mindset. You can estimate a candidate’s curiosity level by asking them to describe their biggest professional failure and ask them whether or not they learned something from that situation. In other instances, you can ask them to describe their research process in situations when they are put in charge of completing a task they have very little knowledge of.
Have a group interview
Interviews with multiple candidates offer a unique opportunity to see them communicate in a team. Candidates may work together on solving a problem and someone’s natural leadership abilities may come up during the process. After a task is completed, you can conduct individual interviews and see how each candidate evaluates others. It is at this stage that you can see how well or poorly they assess other candidates’ performance or even their own.
Obviously, there are many ways of assessing potential candidates and finding the perfect one will involve implementing the majority of these techniques. Not only will you find a perfect fit for the job but you will also get an employee that will be a valuable gem to your team.