Each business and HR professional has their own unique way of evaluating candidates. Resumes, references, experience, qualifications, probation periods, training periods, and on the job interviews are all ways that someone’s hire-ability can be evaluated.
In my previous position I was responsible for hiring individuals who would be responsible for teaching physical fitness programs to preschoolers. The perfect candidates required a certain skill set including an outgoing personality, patience, energy, confidence, a professional appearance, and an ability to engage a room full of 3 and 4 year-olds! My assessment process included them coaching other candidates using our curriculum, as well as going out into the field to experience a class and watching how they interact with the students.
The weighting of criteria will vary drastically depending on factors such as the industry, clientele, location, company culture and philosophy. However, the following list is a selection of 11 factors that are frequently assessed during interviews or other parts of the job application process.
(1) Punctual – did the candidate arrive on time?
(2) Appearance – professional, takes pride in their appearance, dressed to impress, appropriate for the job that they are applying for.
(3) Communication – well spoken, clear, confident, able to articulate their ideas through a variety of mediums
(4) Genuine – are their answers a true representation of their beliefs or are they feeding you what they think you want to hear?
(5) Works well under pressure – try to incorporate aspects into the interview so that you can assess their capabilities when the heat is on.
(6) Flexible – Is open to new opportunities and experiences
(7) Diligent – Prepared to do whatever is needed to get the job done
(8) Passionate about the job at hand/ industry/ company’s mission – as the old saying goes, “do what you love and love what you do”. If your employee believes in what you do and is passionate about your mission, you are going to get a lot more buy in from them.
(9) Self-motivated – Look for areas in which the candidate has demonstrated independence, an ability to lead, and a desire to make a difference.
(10) Team-oriented – Will they fit in with your current culture, or are they going to upset the applecart?
(11) Socially responsible – This is a factor that varies greatly by industry, culture, location, and position, but for many people, a quick glance through someone’s social media profiles can eliminate candidates from the application process if inappropriate content is discovered.
There are many factors that are desired in new hires and here are some tips for things to include in your interview to assess competency in these areas:
(1) Ask the candidate about their thoughts on your website. This will show how interested they truly are in your company, whether they took the time to research things before the interview, as well as their understanding of your offerings
(2) Perform group interviews. How well do your candidates stack up against each other. This gives you a good idea of their interpersonal skills, as well as how they might fit in with your company culture.
(3) Give them a job related task to complete to see how they perform under pressure, on the spot, with no preparation time. I remember one of my brother’s sales position interviews where the interviewer passed his car keys to my brother and asked him to sell them back to him!
(4) Have your existing employees be involved in the interview process to see how the candidates interact within your existing structure, and how smoothly they would slot into your culture. This also empowers your existing employees as they play a part in the recruitment process, and feel valued as you are interested in their thoughts.
(5) Throw some curveballs in there to see how quickly your candidate responds under pressure, as well as the decisions that they make. You could have them answer a staged telephone call, or could ask them a question that has nothing to do with their job, but allows you to assess their ability to think on the spot.
(6) Don’t pay too much attention to qualifications unless it is something a where specialized skill is required, as in jobs such as doctors or lawyers, where some expertise is typically required! Just because someone was a great soccer player doesn’t mean that they will be an incredible coach. Just because someone has a PhD in Education doesn’t mean that they will be an incredible fitness coach in a room full of preschoolers. Believe me, I am talking from experience here…
What attributes do you look for in your candidates? Which factors immediately eliminate potential hires from your recruitment process? What are some interview tricks that you have up your sleeve to truly test your applicant’s’ capabilities? Please share your thoughts in the comments box below, and until next time, Expect the Exceptional in everything that you do.