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5 Ways to Learn More about Your Candidate

Just like any relationship, whether it is a personal or professional one, a good match always has its advantage. That is why options or candidates give you leverage when screening for the right one.

Likewise, in the recruitment process in the professional industries, having a line-up of applicants allows some leeway to the screening and selection process. Human Resource personnel are aware that efficiency and productivity in the workplace can be achieved when the right people are in place.

With hundreds of applicants lined up to be interviewed in a day, recruiters are always on the lookout for candidates who will be a perfect fit to the job.

Here are a few tips for recruiters to easily spot the person right for the job: 

1. Don’t do job ‘interviews’.

The usual screening process involves interviews, with the recruiter asking away templated questions, covering the applicant’s educational background and relevant work experience.

While these questions cover the basics about the technical qualifications of your candidate, it does not exactly reflect the candidate’s performance at work. What you can do to approximate your candidate’s actual work performance is to have them “audition” for the job.

While personality and pen-and-paper tests can give you an overview of your candidate’s personality, requiring them to do an activity that is necessary to their job will give you a better gauge of how they actually perform. Say your applicant is vying for a web developer position. Have him or her create a website landing page. His or her output will reveal how well he or she can execute the task, and how fast he or she can deliver the quality that you require.

2. Test their problem solving skills.

Another way to gauge your candidate’s capability is to have them solve a problem that they might encounter at work. This is one qualification that is often overlooked in the usual recruitment process.

While the perfect candidate may have all the required skills and qualifications, it would be advantageous for a company or business to hire a candidate who is solution-oriented when the need arises.

Give the applicants a probable work problem and ask them for a resolution. This way, you get to hear how they will approach handling the situation, and what concrete steps they will do to resolve the problem.

Such responses reveal your candidates’ thinking processes and behavior, which you would not usually get from asking templated interview questions.

3. Go for a conversation.

Not all job applicants will admit that going on interviews make them nervous because of the rigidity of a Q and A interview. Recruitment personnel’s’ best bet to help the applicants relax is steer the interview into a conversation.

Allow your applicants to talk by asking open-ended questions. In this manner, your applicant gives you a peek to his or her social skills, behavior, and personality, saving you from receiving rehearsed answers.

Some open-ended questions that you could use are:

  • What inspires you?
  • How did you address a mistake you did and what did you learn?
  • What are your hobbies?
  • What’s your favorite aspect of your current position?
  • What best practices would you bring with you from your current company?

You can also learn more about your applicant by allowing them to talk about something they are passionate about that is not work-related. You will learn more from the person as you listen to what they do outside the office. You might get surprised to know that your applicants do charity work, advocate social goodness, or train and play like an athlete.

4. Conduct interview in a different zone.

Let’s admit this: one-on-one interviews in a locked room can be a bit intimidating. You can experiment and a different kind of job interview. Ditch the one-on-one session and go for a panel with a team member who has the best social skills. Or you can ditch a closed door set-up, and offer to conduct the interview outside the office.

Taking the recruitment process out of the typical “interview zone” allows you to see how your candidate interacts with another team member. Observe the dynamics of his or her social skills so you would know whether or not he or she works well with a partner or even a team.

Pay attention to the little details. Is your applicant listening well to the other person? Does he or she allow others to speak? Is he or she directing the conversation to mostly about himself or herself?

These little things will allow you some insight to your candidate’s personality and demeanor.

5. Look beyond their CV.

Now that you’ve seen how your applicant interact, think, and execute tasks, you can go back to his or her resume for some re-evaluation. But re-evaluation does not mean you stop at just your applicant’s resume, beside it could be written with the help of some writing service.  Do some extra research by looking up whether he or she has a LinkedIn profile, or calling the references indicated in the CV.

If possible, you can also look through your candidate’s social media accounts, or blogs if they have one, so you will get a holistic overview of your candidate.

BIO: Laura Buckler is a writing expert who creates search engine optimized articles on lifestyle topics. She specializes in SEO writing and is a published author of hundreds of blog posts and articles. Follow her on twitter.