As an interviewer, you want to find the best person for the job, but personalities can be distracting. For example, a charismatic candidate with a weak skill set is not a good hire.
Here are five types of candidates you will meet and tips for evaluating them more objectively.
The Nervous Nellie
This candidate does not handle interviews well and it shows. They may be anxious, shy or fidgety, and they give short or incomplete answers to your questions. Although these applicants are easy to dismiss because they give a poor first impression, they often turn into fantastic employees once they are in their comfort zone. Attempt to break the ice by giving them an impromptu tour or by introducing them to a spirited co-worker. Once they are more at ease, you will be able to better judge their true abilities.
The Smooth Operator
Smooth operators seem to be the best thing ever. They are talented (or so they say), confident and have all the right answers. You, however, may have an uneasy feeling everything is a little too flawless. These candidates may be genuine, but you need to discover their true colors before inviting them to join your organization. Use a work sample project to test their claims. Or, provide an experiential or hands-on task, preferably with current employees, to assess their potential on-the-job performance and their interaction with others.
Your New Best Friend
Sometimes you meet a candidate who impresses you instantly. They like tennis, fishing and cats … just like you. Why wouldn’t you hire them? Unfortunately, judging applicants on their likeability or similar interests is a form of interview bias. Left unchecked, this can lead to a less talented and less diverse workforce. Make sure you are putting skills and abilities before personality by using structured interviews (asking every candidate the same questions) and work sample tests. Also, involve multiple people in the process to reduce individual biases.
The Silver Medalist
The silver medalist is almost, but not quite, perfect. In these situations, you must ask if you are too picky or if you are too eager to settle. Sometimes job descriptions set unrealistic expectations, and a candidate who lacks a qualification or two may be upskilled to become a valuable member of your team. On the other hand, if the applicant is missing a critical trait and they seem unwilling to learn, you may want to keep them in your pipeline but hold off on any immediate offers of employment.
The Perfect Candidate
If only hiring was always this easy. The perfect candidate presents a great resume, has the right skill set, interviews well, aces a work sample test and fits in with your company culture. These individuals are rare, so move forward quickly. If you hesitate your competitors may snatch them up first.
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