EXTRAORDINARY PEOPLE. POWERFUL RESULTS
Hiring an addition to your staff is an investment and it's important you make the right choice. While Celebrity Staff will identify and recruit the highest quality Administrative, Management, and Legal candidates for your position, the process culminates with the candidate's interview with you. As important as it is for the candidate to prepare for an interview, it is just as critical for you, the hiring official, to also have a plan. This will ensure you are able to thoroughly evaluate the candidate and make the very best hiring decision for your organization.
During the Interview
After the Interview
Goeff Smart and Randy Street, authors of the book Who, estimate that for certain positions hiring mistakes can cost fifteen times an employee's base salary in hard costs and productivity loss. Therefore, the fastest way to increase productivity and minimize expense is to hire the right people, the first time. To do so, make sure you're prepared.
Preparing your questions ahead of time will ensure that you hit on all of the important points and enable you to gather all of the information you need about the candidate's skills, abilities, and the ability to work within your company's culture/environment.
Click here for sample interview questions.
A study by the Wall Street Journal indicated that 70 percent of the hiring decision is based upon the following: emotions, biases, chemistry, personality, and stereotyping. All of these have little to do with whether someone can actually do the job they are being interviewed for. Be aware of these tendencies and work to mitigate influences from these factors.
During the Interview:
Once the interview begins, be mindful of "voodoo hiring", as defined in the book Who, and how these interview styles can negatively affect an interview. Even the best interviewers, those who have been doing it for years, often fall victim to these poor hiring practices, which include:
The Art Critic, The Sponge, The Prosecutor, The Suitor, The Trickster, The Animal Lover, The Chatterbox, The Psychological and Personality Tester, The Aptitude Tester, The Fortune Tester,
When it comes to judging art, going
on gut instinct sometimes works just fine. A good art critic can
make an accurate appraisal of a painting within minutes. With
hiring, though, people who think they are naturally equipped to
"read" people on the fly are setting themselves up to be fooled
big-time. A forger can pass off fake paintings as real ones to the
time-pressed buyer, and people who want a job badly enough can fake
an interview if it lasts only a few minutes. Gut instinct is
terribly inaccurate when it comes to hiring someone. If you extend
an offer based on a good gut feeling, you are going to have a
A common approach among busy managers
is to let everybody interview a candidate. The goal of this
sponge-like behavior is to soak up information by spending as much
time with people as possible. Unfortunately, managers rarely
coordinate their effort, leaving everybody to ask the same,
superficial questions. We witnessed one interview process where six
interviewers in a row asked a candidate about his skydiving hobby.
Collectively, they burned over sixty minutes on a topic that had
nothing to do with the job-although the fellow was an accomplished
sky diver, as it turned out! The sponge's ultimate assessment of the
person he hires rarely goes deeper than "He's a good guy!"
Many managers act like the
prosecutors they see on TV. They aggressively question candidates,
attempting to trip them up with trick questions and logic problems.
Why are manhole covers round? How did the markets do yesterday? One
employer we have heard of asks candidates if they play chess. If
they say yes, he matches them up against an employee who happens to
be a Russian chess master! In the end, trick questions might land
you the most knowledgeable candidate, and maybe even someone who can
beat a Russian chess master, but knowledge and ability to do the job
are not the same thing.
Rather than rigorously interviewing a
candidate, some managers spend all of their energy selling the
applicant on the opportunity. Suitors are more concerned with
impressing candidates than assessing their capabilities. They spend
all of their time in an interview talking and virtually no time
listening. Suitors land their share of candidates, but they take
their chances with the candidate actually being a good fit.
Then there are the interviewers who
use gimmicks to test for certain behaviors. They might throw a wad
of paper to the floor, for example, to see if a candidate is willing
to clean it up, or take him to a party to see how he interacts with
other partygoers. Use this method, and you are likely to find
yourself in the awkward position of explaining to your friends why
you fired that nice guy from the party who helped clean up the mess.
Many managers hold on stubbornly to their favorite pet questions -- questions they think will reveal
something uniquely important about a candidate. One executive takes
this literally, telling us that he judges candidates by their answer
to one question: "What type of animal would you be?" The question
has a truly voodoo answer key. "I look for people who have a witty
answer." Not only do questions like this lack any relevance of
scientific basis, but they are utterly useless as a predictor of
The conversation usually goes
something like this: "How about those Yankees! Man, the weather
really is rough this time of year. You grew up in California? So did
I!" Although enjoyable, the method does nothing to help you make a
good decision. You're supposed to be picking up a future trusted
colleague, not someone with whom you can bat around baseball stats.
The Handbook of Industrial/Organizational Psychology recommends
against using these types of tests for executive decisions, and with
good reason. Asking a candidate a series of bubble-test questions
like "Do you tease small animals?" or "Would you rather be at a
cocktail party or the library on a Friday night" is not useful
(although both are actual questions on popular psychological tests),
and it's certainly not predictive of success on the job. Savvy
candidates can easily fake the answers based on the job for which
they are vying.
Tests can help managers
determine whether a person has the right aptitude for a specific
role, such as persistence for a business development position, but
they should never become the sole determinant in a hiring decision.
Just like a fortune teller
looking in a crystal ball to predict the future, some interviewers
like to ask their candidates to look into the future regarding the
job at hand by asking hypothetical questions: "What would you do?
How would you do it? Could you do it?" Fifty years of academic
literature on interview methods makes a strong case against using
these types of questions during interviews.
After the Interview:
Following an interview, force yourself to wait 30 minutes before making a decision on a candidate. Review the job requirements again and assess whether the candidate's experience match the needs of the position.
To objectively determine if a candidate is right for the position, examine past performance first, then character, and then personality/cultural fit last. Reviewing a candidate's performance will identify their ability to do the work. Traits to identify performance ability include team skills, drive, intelligence, leadership, initiative, and obtained results. The character of an individual is their honesty, integrity, and responsibility. One's personality/cultural fit is their attitude, style, pace, first impression, appearance, social confidence, and affability.
Keep in mind these tips as well:
Evaluate. If the candidate interviewed with several people from your company, compare notes. Be
ready to provide examples from your interview.
Be clear about the next step. Don't leave the candidate hanging. Be honest about what the candidate can expect from you. If you promise to follow up, make sure that you do. Let the candidate know a time frame for your final hiring decision.