Written by, Morgan Gavulic
It happens all too often – an AWESOME candidate comes through for an interview. They show up dressed to impress, say all the right things, have the perfect experience and are eager to get to work. Then, shortly after they get started with the position, they drop the ball and turn out to be a candidate you would’ve never chosen had you seen the signs. It leaves you dumbfounded; why does this keep happening? Why does the perfect candidate never seem to stick?
In recruiting, it seems like this situation comes up far too often, many times leaving you questioning where you went wrong or wondering what red flags you must’ve missed in the screening process. I came across a short blog, posted on LinkedIn by a man named Lou Adler, on this topic and how the traditional steps in the interviewing process don’t always help you find the best fit for a position. He wrote about how it is simple for a candidate to pass through the hurdles of the interview process and “fool” the individual(s) interviewing him/her, but then fall short of the person they were suspected to be.
The other end of the spectrum happens as well. My team has seen many individuals come through the interview and orientation process that we end up having an uneasy feeling about, whether it be their initial first impression, the way they carry themselves, or their past experience. However, time and time again we have been proven wrong and these individuals seem to be the ones that are standout workers who show up every day and put their all into their work. Adler mentions in his blog that naturally if a candidate doesn’t give off the best first impression, they are instantly “judged” as less competent and are given a negative mark. This instant negative view of the candidate can end in the loss of a very qualified candidate.
In the world of recruiting, first impressions play a big role in the hiring process, but it’s important that we don’t let them dominate the whole decision-making process. So how can we get past those uneasy feelings and see a candidate for who they truly can be?
While there is no specific question you can ask a candidate that will solidify if they will be a good fit for a position or not, there are tips for making this search a little easier. Make sure you are taking enough time with each candidate to really get a glimpse of who they are as a worker. Ask questions that require their insight and deep dive into their previous experience. Make the interview comfortable – I’m not saying act like you’ve known them forever – but give off a comfortable presence and you may find that your candidate is more open about who they are and what they are looking for. All of these things help to get to know your candidate and see past their initial persona and get a glimpse of who they may be in the workplace.