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

If you have been hiring for any length of time, you’ve probably seen and heard it all. So let’s narrow this down a bit and call it a tale of two candidates. This story will likely sound familiar.

Candidate one, Joe, is smooth—real smooth. You can ask him any question, and he fires back a well-prepared answer. He’s a sharp dresser with a firm handshake, and he has been saying all the right things. He seems like the kind of young man who makes friends easily and, despite your vow to always be objective, you come away from the interview liking him yourself.

Candidate two is Bill. Judging by his resume, he is every bit as qualified as Joe, but his interviewing skills are lacking. His answers are tentative, his smile looks forced, and he isn’t doing much to convince you he’s the better choice.

Based on what you’ve seen and heard in the interview, there is little doubt that you would choose Joe. But how do you know he’s the right choice? Is he going to be a better employee than Bill, or was he just better in the interview?

Keep in mind, the position for which you’re hiring might not require Joe’s traits. Of course, if you’re hiring a front man for the company—sales or customer service, for instance—Joe is your candidate. But if the job is behind the scenes, so to speak, you’ll want the best candidate—not the best interviewer!

Here are some tips for finding that person:

Give them a project to complete before the interview

Possible projects could include:

  • Project manager: design a project plan
  • Web designer: design a landing page for your company
  • Sales executive: present a sales proposal using your product

Projects like this are an opportunity for you to see them working in their comfort zone.

Take them to lunch with some of the employees

Invite your candidate to lunch and include some of the team members. Observe how the candidate interacts. Was the candidate a good listener or did they spend the entire lunch talking about themself?  How did they treat the wait staff? You can learn a lot in this hour!

Ask them to talk about something important to them

Ask your candidates to describe something they’re passionate about. Then be quiet and listen. You’ll gain insight into the real person through stories of working at a women’s shelter, volunteering at a camp for challenged children, or a science award from high school.

Get feedback from others

Find ways for other employees to interact with your candidate without you being there. The feedback you’ll get could be invaluable.

Do you need someone to help you find the right workers?

Contact us today! We are United Personnel, providing staffing solutions to Western Massachusetts and beyond for over 30 years. Using our experience and expertise, we can help you get a strong team on board. Let’s get started!