What to Consider When Interviewing Candidatesby Auvrey Lavigne Writer
Hiring new staff can be tricky—for both the candidate and the recruiter.
The candidate must make a good impression so that they can land the job. The interviewer needs to assess the candidate’s competence and suitability for the position while they keep their questions legal. Otherwise, they may face an employment discrimination lawsuit.
A common misconception is that interviews are one-sided, that the recruiter always wins after hiring the best applicant. That’s not always the case. The “best applicant” may have oversold themselves during the interview, and the company would have been better off with their second option.
Such situations can be avoided if the company is able to correctly evaluate the applicant’s hard skills and soft skills during the recruitment process.
When hiring new staff, some considerations that recruiters need to know include these:
Is the Applicant Open to Drug Tests?
In most states, asking questions about an applicant’s prescribed medications is against the law. However, companies may require new employees to undergo drug testing. This is important especially in safety-critical occupations.
Some applicants may voluntarily admit that they are currently on medication as prescribed by their doctor. Prescription drugs are normally allowed in most workplaces. However, their use can mean that they’ll fail the drug test.
But even if the applicant volunteered to give that information to the interviewer, the latter must never note that down or use that as a factor for the former’s employment. Doing so can lead to a lawsuit.
In states where the use of recreational marijuana is legal, an employer may still require applicants to subject themselves to a drug test. In that case, an applicant may use detox kits prior to the drug screening.
How Much Have They Accomplished?
Many people think that a good education, a solid skill set, and long years of experience can land them the job. However, a better measure of their abilities is by asking them what they’ve accomplished in those years, using their skills and education.
A candidate who has a lot of achievements in a short period means that they are a high performer and can contribute much to the company’s growth. But do note that eloquence does not equal intellect. Not all candidates will be honest during an interview.
Just because a candidate is charming and well-spoken doesn’t mean they are capable. Don’t get mesmerized by their rhetoric; sometimes, it’s a smokescreen for their lack of ability.
In the same vein, candidates that seem shy may have more to them than meets the eye. It’s up to the interviewer to probe their potential, because sometimes, these candidates may have hidden talents that may be useful to a company.
Are They Prepared for the Long Haul?
Employees who can commit to working for many years are usually more valuable than a one-hit wonder is.
A company with a high turnover rate won’t be as successful as one that has many tenured workers. Companies must train new people every time someone leaves, and that means added expense. Not to mention, losing an employee means losing valuable talent and knowledge.
It’s okay to ask a candidate directly about their expected length of employment. Another way to inquire is by asking if the applicant has plans to travel within the next six months.
Can They Think Outside the Box?
A lot of businesses today rely on innovation to beat the competition, and innovation comes from creativity.
While an employee who goes by the book can be valuable in their own way, in some cases, a company may need fresh perspective to improve its current protocols.
Assessing creativity can be hard. One way is to ask candidates situational questions and observe how they answer each question.
A better option would be to surprise the candidate with an unusual question—something random like “How would you steer a ship through a storm?”
The Bottom Line
As a company grows, it’s vital to hire the best candidate for an open position. The best one may not be the most educated or the most experienced. Sometimes, an ordinary applicant can become a company’s best worker.
But for them to get there, the recruiter must first consider all the above mentioned points when interviewing a candidate.
Created on Feb 28th 2018 23:43. Viewed 337 times.