The Recruiter’s Guide To Selecting The Best Candidates
In a world where candidates have perfectly crafted resumes, and interviews are merely a repeat of questions they’ve answered over and over again in preparation, finding that unique candidate who provides cutting-edge competitive advantage can be one heck of a task. According to Ron Friedman, the penman of ‘The Best Place to work,’ job interviews are in most cases disconnected from the realities of the day to day job. More than anything, they favour the bold and the confident and while these sorts of traits are without doubt desirable, sometimes they’re not what you need. The best software developer, for instance, might not necessarily be the top interview performer.
So, if you’re caught between trying to determine the best candidate for your opening and the best interview candidate, these strategies should come in handy.
- Give your candidates a problem to resolve
You could incorporate this right into the job application process or wait until the interview, whichever works best. The problem could be a generic issue related to your company or a more specific challenge related to the role specified in the job opening. Once you’ve gotten answers on how they would approach the problem, ask them to discuss the reason behind their suggested solutions. This way you get to assess their critical thinking abilities and personality traits from an informed point of view.
- Next, assign a project
Similar to a problem teardown, giving your candidates a project to complete is another way of qualitatively assessing them, this time, however with the emphasis being on testing their skills. Think of it as a job audition; you get to see your candidates perform their roles in a real world setting. Aside from evaluating their capabilities you also get to determine their flaws. No one is perfect, and knowing where the imperfections lie in your potential employee is critical to developing measures to mitigate their effects.
- Lend a listening ear
Listen attentively to your candidates as they speak, not just when they’re raving on about their qualifications and excellent job experience but more so when they’re talking about things they love (and things they hate). This gives you a chance to connect with what they are passionate about as opposed to what they’ve put on their resumes as their passions. A huge chunk of job seekers would lie about what they love and hate to put them in a better position of landing the job. What they cannot lie about (at least not convincingly) is their experiences with the said things they love. Quiz them about it, listen to them and make an informed judgment.
- Take your candidates out of their comfort zone
And by comfort zone, we mean the proverbial ‘interview zone.’ Sure, they might get uneasy when you schedule an interview at a restaurant or cafe, but there’s no arguing the fact that unconventional settings present a perfect opportunity to assess potential hires critically. How do they react to a different kind of pressure? In this informal setting, are they active listeners or proactive speakers? What’s their demeanor with other people, say the wait staff? These sort of questions are what you should be seeking answers for if you’re determined to get a holistic picture of who your candidate really is.
Overall, as you might have already guessed, these tactics are directly suited to tear down the cloak most candidates put on before an interview. With it off, you’re better positioned to see candidates for who they really are rather than who they want you to see them as. Given that the former is what determines their competence in a real world setting, it is what matters when you select your best candidate.
Good luck! If you need any help, we’re happy to be of service – get in touch with us today!