Tips for Finding the Perfect Candidate for the Job
As a hiring manager, it’s your responsibility to find the best fit and optimal hire for the job, every time. Although it might sound like a simple task, more goes into the interview process than just asking a few questions and finding someone qualified for the position. You must take into consideration a variety of factors before welcoming someone into your company. Throughout my career I have often been asked to provide insight into interviewing candidates. Below are a few helpful tips to help you narrow down your options to that one perfect person who is the right person for the job.
Know What You Want:
A sufficient amount of time should be spent thinking about exactly what you are looking for in a candidate. Not only the professional skills that the ideal person would have, but also the personality, attitude, communication style and more, that would be needed to be a good fit within your company and specifically your team. For example, would a person who is reserved fit well into a team dynamic where you are promoting an open and collaborative work environment?
Once you understand the important things to look for no matter the position you need to fill (someone with a professional and pleasant demeanor, a positive attitude and good communication skills, etc.) ,you should take a close look at your team: where are your strengths and weaknesses? Aside from basic qualities, determine exactly what your ideal applicant would bring to the table,. Where do you need the most impact, is there a void or a place where could you use more of the same.? This will enable you to find a well-rounded individual that will compliment your team, rather than someone with only a great resume, great skill set, and personality.
Put Them at Ease:
Countless times I have heard comments from candidates that they were stressed throughout the process, were not sure how it went, that it was a tough interview, they couldn’t get comfortable or weren’t themselves. This all has to do with making the interview a matter of business with a lack of effort to relate to the candidate. But I assure you, you will get more information to make a quality decision from those you have connected with. The only way to do that is through a relaxed and comfortable conversation. This does not mean it has to be so relaxed that you don’t get to your list of questions. Just provide ample time to ensure they are comfortable with you. This is best accomplished by making small talk in the beginning,: talk about the drive into the office, ask if it was hard to find, offer coffee or water, talk about the weather, the local sports team. You get the idea. Take 5 minutes or so at the beginning of your interview just to get to know them as a person and find some common ground where you can relate.
Most of all, remember that a candidate should never feel like he/she is taking an exam. Rather, they should feel that they have made an investment of their time to get to know the company and people they will work alongside, should they take that step in their career.
Ask the Right Questions:
If you are well prepared for the interview process, this should be an easy one to mark off the list. While there are standard interview questions that should generally always be asked, you should take care to ask questions that are relevant to the specific job the candidate is interviewing for. Type out a list of questions that you plan to ask during the course of the interview in order to keep yourself on track, but also be sure to ask detailed follow up questions. And be sure to keep in mind that open-ended questions allow the candidate to go into details that you might otherwise miss out on, helping you to get to know more about who they truly are.
Make a Good Impression:
Not only are you interviewing the candidate, but in a sense, they are interviewing you. Every candidate out there is hoping to find not just a job, but a career with a workplace where they fit in well and can enjoy their work. They want to be in an environment where they are comfortable and surrounded by people of similar character. It is your task during the interview process to be the face of the company and to make a great first impression. But it is also important to never be misleading regarding the company atmosphere. Candidates today are wiser to what they want and are not looking for a sales pitch, but rather factual and accurate heartfelt information about why they should join your company.
Give the Candidate Time to Speak:
A very important thing to remember when interviewing someone is that although you want to provide a detailed description of the opportunity and the company itself, it’s important to leave ample time for your candidate to answer questions thoroughly, as well as to ask any questions they may have. Take the time to really hear their answers and to evaluate them carefully. Also, paying close attention to the questions they ask of you will allow you a bit more insight into what exactly they are looking to get out of the job. For example, If their questions revolve around salary and benefits rather than company culture and job responsibilities, it’s a good indication that they are more interested in what they can get out of the new position rather than what they can offer.
If I could summarize, I have always found that both interviewer and candidate benefit from genuine two way communication. Like many relationships, if you have genuine conversation and attempt to get to know each other, you will truly get the most from your interview, and all the information you need to make a quality assessment. And, when you think about it, this is really the task at hand.
Keeping these things in mind throughout the interview process will allow you to focus on finding the right person for the position. Every job may have it’s own special circumstances that requires that this formula be tweaked a bit, but the basic principles remain the same. If you have any questions or need our assistance throughout the recruiting process, please feel free to reach out below in the comments or through our contact page. We would love to help in any way that we can.