You’ve just finished interviewing your last applicant and it’s time to start narrowing down your finalists. You’re leaning a little more toward number 3, but you’re still not quite sure. It’s time to compare notes in hopes of getting that “closer-to-a-100%” feeling.
But how can you get there quicker?
Ask yourself these 8 questions before you make your final pick.
- Are they qualified? This might appear to be far too obvious of a question, but we’re all human and can often be swayed by charisma and charm. A candidate that shows up knowing an impressive amount about your company paired with a passion for your business could be a dangerous combo, lending you rose-coloured glasses that cause even the best of us to very seriously consider the “perfect” candidate as our next potential hire. They can blur the lines between a person’s actual qualifications and genuine enthusiasm. Remember not to overlook missing requirements due to over excitement. It happens.
- Do they have a great attitude? We’re generally encouraged to hire someone with a great attitude, and there’s good reason for that. Even if a person with more of the necessary skills and qualifications has a bad attitude, the reality is they might always have a bad attitude. That could be hard to work with down the road, and an inconvenience for your currently productive team. On the other hand, an employee who has a great attitude but lacks some of the skills you’re looking for is a lot more likely to learn those skills – with a smile thanks to that great attitude.
- Did they skirt around your questions? In life, answering a question honestly is more often than not a better idea than proverbially beating around the bush. Job interviews are no different. While it can be intimidating for even the most qualified candidate to admit they may be lacking in a certain area, there’s a special kind of professional strength possessed by those who aim to provide you with answers that are as direct as possible – even if they aren’t the perfect answers or the ones they know you want to hear.
- Are they enthusiastic about this particular job? It’s in your best interest to hire someone that wants to do this particular job at your company. Not just any job at any company. People who are excited about a specific role or organization (ideally both), often do their homework. Interest in your brand, knowing a bit about your company’s latest initiatives, how they envision their talent to move your company forward – these are all great revealers of whether this is the job for them and the company for them.
- Did we connect? One thing that sets a candidate apart from the competition is their ability to establish a connection with their interviewer. If you’re thinking, you mean chemistry? Yeah, that’s what I mean. Maybe this comes with confidence, maybe it’s a personality thing. Either way, it’s important to look for and can often disguise itself in candid conversation, or even a mutual laugh. Working with someone every day is a big deal, so it’s significant if you feel a genuine connection. Likewise, a jarring disconnect should also be noted.
- Do they fit the company culture? Ideally, we’d like our new hire to mesh well with other employees – someone who understand’s your organizations values and can get along with their team. Being a great fit shouldn’t however, imply that a candidate should be anything other than themselves. Maybe they have unique interests outside of work, maybe they’re a bit shy to start. There’s no such thing as the perfect fit, but some common ground is always a good idea for a smooth transition, and a definite plus when establishing boundaries and expectations.
- Am I overlooking any red flags because they fit the culture? As a follow up to #6, while it’s important to look at someone who fits your company culture, too much focus on this area isn’t necessary because people often grow into things. When we’re blinded by someone who appears to be a great addition to our work environment, it’s also easy to let an otherwise unqualified candidate slip through to the final round. We might even overlook who the better qualified candidates are – a “lose-lose situation”, as they say.
- Do I have any unaddressed doubts? Were their references honest and glowing? Did their background check match up with their claims? Is there anything questionable that’s making you internally uneasy? Are you sure this person is close to being THE one? It’s easy to overlook something because someone is great on paper or impressed you during an interview. If you think something needs to be addressed, look into it. And if you have the gut feeling that something is off, don’t be afraid to explore further. Better yet, ask your potential new hire.
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