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Hire the Right Candidate, Not Just One Who Interviews Well

The selection process might seem simple on the surface: A great resume plus a strong interview equals the perfect candidate. Right? Wrong. Like many seemingly simple equations in the management realm, the selection process can be tricky and multi-layered, and what you see during an interview may represent only what the candidate wants you to see. Dig a little deeper and you’ll identify the candidates who are truly set up for success, not just the ones that make a flashy impression. Keep these tips in mind.

Every candidate wants to impress you.

Even if your interviewee isn’t really sure about this job, she’ll want to keep her options open, and she can only do this if you’re suitably impressed with her profile and personality. Almost every candidate wants your approval, no matter what they ultimately do with it. Be aware that eagerness, interest, forward leaning postures, and bright smiles will still result in a mismatch if the candidate has to accept a lower salary or a longer commute than she’s used to.

Question potential exaggerations.

As long as you don’t aggressively interrogate your candidate, you’re within your rights to ask for more detail about his or her accomplishments. If these accomplishments seem unusually impressive, don’t hesitate to look closer. Ask open ended behavioral questions that encourage the candidate to tell a story. For example: “I see that in your last company, you were promoted from assistant to District Manager within six months. Tell me about the challenges you faced during this rapid set of promotions.”

Don’t skip the reference check.

Your candidate may seem like a superstar on paper, and he may have dazzled you during the interview process. But even if your socks have been well and truly knocked off, don’t cut the screening process short. Call the candidate’s references (all of them) and listen carefully to their testimonies. If they sound neutral or disinterested, you may be dealing with a candidate who’s all glitter and no substance.

For more on how to separate the steak from the sizzle and identify the candidates who are genuinely prepared to help your company succeed, reach out to the Charlotte staffing experts at PSU.

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