Hiring a Professional vs. a Professional InterviewerShannon Hall
How do you differentiate between a good candidate and a candidate who looks good on the surface but may not be a good employee? It is right to be skeptical. According to HireRight’s 2017 employment screening benchmark report, 85 percent of employers caught applicants fibbing on their résumés or applications. Sometimes people are so skilled at interviewing that it distracts from their actual qualifications. Sometimes the best candidates have little to no practice at interviewing. Here we will explain exactly how you can identify what we call “professional interviewers”. Professional interviewers have often interviewed for dozens of open positions and develop exceptional interviewing skills. It’s important to know how to spot a professional interviewer so that you can find the real talent among your candidates.
Be careful of candidates who are good at deflecting & over-talking
If you have interviewed more than a few candidates, you have probably experienced this situation. You might ask a simple question and your candidate will give a long answer that doesn’t directly relate to what you asked. You might also get derailed by a candidate who asks several questions in return about topics unrelated to your initial question. The objective of this type of candidate is to do whatever they can to avoid the question, because it could surface one of their weaknesses or lack of skill in a certain area. Some candidates are so good at deflection they can fool the interviewer into thinking that they actually answered the question. A few quick tips when you find yourself in this situation: Go in with a set list of questions, take good notes, make sure that all of your questions have been answered, and if you find you are behind in getting your answers, remind the candidate that you have a schedule to meet. It’s important to stay in control of the interview and conduct a proper screening.
Look at a candidate’s job history/stability
Regardless of how a candidate behaves, it’s essential to review their resume closely. This gives you the opportunity to ask questions about their experience and job history during the interview. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the average person is expected to have 12-15 different jobs on their resume during their career. Be aware of candidates who have more than this average number of jobs. We also recommend asking a candidate if they have any experience that is not listed on their resume, such as contract jobs, or direct hire positions that may have been left off of a resume. In our experience, candidates sometimes leave jobs off of their resume to make their resume look more stable, or to hide a job in which they left on bad terms. Scan the resume for gaps in employment and ask questions. It is often very telling to know the reasons for why they left their previous jobs, and their answer to this question might be a good indicator of whether or not they are a stable choice for your company. Past performance is often an indicator of how they will perform in the future.
Conduct good behavioral interviews
It’s important that interviews are conducted thoroughly with questions that are designed to make sense for the type of role you are trying to fill. We recommend having a set list of behavioral interview questions—four to six minimum. These questions should help you to determine whether or not your candidate is a good fit for the role as well as the culture of your team. We also recommend having two separate people interview each candidate. After the interview has been conducted, the interviewers can compare the results of the questions between them and discuss. If there are inconsistencies, you should ask a candidate additional follow-up questions, or perhaps schedule a second interview to clarify. Any doubts you may have about a candidate should be examined. If your second interviewer had a similar impression, it’s probable that you’ve picked up on something worth questioning.
Some of the best candidates aren’t 100% polished
We routinely interview candidates who come to us as referrals who are far from professional interviewers. They have often been in the same position for over 10 years which means they are experienced, but may be out of practice when it comes to interviewing. Many things have changed in the past 10 years in terms of job searching, and these candidates are often nervous during interviews and may not have the most up-to-date resume format. Someone who has had higher longevity often makes it past multiple lay-offs and downsizings, and often shows a history of job growth. These are often the key employees that our clients what to hire. The following are a few of our tips when interviewing a candidate in this category. Start the interview off in a conversational format to put the candidate at ease. Ask about their day, the trip in, etc. By making the interview more conversational you will help the candidate to feel more comfortable. Once your candidate feels confident, you will be able to ask more relevant questions about their skills and experience.
Ask for good references
It often makes sense to ask for supervisory references, or additional references that are not listed on a candidate’s application. In some cases, candidates will give you select references who they expect will give them a positive reference and leave off those who will not. You can also ask for a close friend of your candidate to use as a reference. You will often get a high level of detail from this person and the information they share with you can give you a great deal of insight into your candidate. Ensure that you ask multiple questions about a candidate’s job title, dates of employment, reasons for leaving, etc. If there are inconsistencies between the reference and the resume, make sure that you ask the candidate about them before making the final hiring decision. Many employers cut corners here to save time, or they hire a low-cost background check company to complete reference checks. We believe that it is a big mistake to cut corners in the reference checking process. Good reference checking can save you from many hiring mistakes.
A candidate’s performance during an interview may not be the biggest indication of their qualifications. An expert professional interviewer knows how to dig deeper than the surface to see a candidate’s true skills and job compatibility. It’s important that you learn to identify these candidates so that you take the time to question whether or not they really are the best candidate, or if they’re only the most impressive on the surface.
Bradley Staffing Group is a full-service staffing firm based in Wayne, PA. We are committed to matching A-level talent with best-in-class businesses. Our knowledgeable and well-trained staff brings a combined 70+ years of staffing experience to our clients and candidates alike. https://bradleystaffinggroup.com/contact-us/