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Tips for Hiring the Best Candidate, Not Just Someone Who Interviews Well

Selecting and hiring the best candidates can be complicated. What if you hire someone based on strong and confident interview responses, who then turns out to be somewhat lackluster or even poor in job performance?

Interviews May Only Highlight Some Skills

Many managers, understandably, think that interviewing well, with polished, focused answers, is analogous to being prepared and focused on the job. But that’s not necessarily the case.  

Some people simply prep for interviews and turn in a strong performance in which they speak compellingly about their achievements. But they may not necessarily be stellar on the job performers. 

Part of the reason is interviewing only utilizes certain skills. A salesperson, for instance, might interview superbly partly because interviews are very similar to sales presentations. The person is the product, and the job is to point out all the benefits. 

But a computer programmer may have no chance to demonstrate the accuracy and dependability that are her strengths in an interview. 

How do you make sure you hire the best candidate? Here are some tips. 

1. Determine the key traits and skills you need 

Without clarity on these throughout the firm, you can’t be clear on what you’re actually looking for.  

2. Develop a plan to assess those traits and skills in the hiring process 

Do you need a database entry specialist who is also a team player? Then you need a plan to determine database entry skills and ability to be a team player. 

3. Give assessments outside the interview room, if necessary 

Some of these skills and traits might require assessment outside of the interview room. While a salesperson’s skill in demonstrating benefits of a product may be very relevant to the interview process, a database entry specialist’s skills may not be. 

Assessments outside the interview room include the following. 

• Test for skills and traits 

One time-tested assessment method is to test for skills and traits. Database, engineering and computer skills, for example, can all be revealed in tests. Accuracy levels can be assessed with tests.  

There are multiple tests for specific qualities and traits as well, such as dependability.  

• Ask candidates to complete sample projects 

Other candidates may be assessed by asking them to complete sample projects — a mini form of what they would be working on day to day. Web developers might be asked to develop a sample web page, or analysts to analyze a data set. 

• Invite them to lunch 

If team interaction and social skills are key traits for the position, inviting candidates to lunch is a good assessment method. It’s also a good method to get feedback from several different people on the candidate’s traits and team skills. 

Be sure to assess what you must have in a position before posting the job ad. Then, determine how those skills and traits are best assessed. While interviews might be best for some positions, others may benefit from testing, sample projects and social interaction. 

For more information on how to hire the best candidates, contact Nesco Resource today!

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