Looking beyond the interview: Hiring the RIGHT candidate

The interview. Many candidates and companies see it as the deciding factor in the hiring process. You have reviewed the candidate’s information, called them to express interest, and now is the face-to-face or virtual meeting where they present themselves as a whole and you discover if the pieces form a viable resource and valuable team member. 

But should an interview (good or bad) be the deciding factor?

The simple answer is, probably not. Executives, C-level candidates and those professionals skilled in the art of communication know the process; they have rehearsed and edited their responses to the categories of questions traditionally heard during the hiring process. 

This preparation is not a bad thing. Excellent communication skills should be sought after, multi-level thinking is necessary when handling complex obstacles, and preparing well for an interview will correlate to being prepared for the position the candidate is interviewing for.

However, getting to the right candidate will require moving past the general interview most are familiar with and into assessments that are less subjective. 

Make a List

Be specific in developing a model of your ideal candidate, listening to those affected by your hiring decisions and compiling a detailed list of attributes and skills you collectively believe will be crucial to performing the responsibilities of the role. 

Develop Methods of Discovery

Part of this process will likely involve the interview, but again, it is not the single deciding factor. You must develop a means to accurately determine if the candidate under scrutiny fits the bill and possesses the combination of qualities you need. You may ask them to detail their response to a scenario that illustrates their emotional intelligence or you could develop a short but effective test that allows them to demonstrate technical aptitudes along with the ability to problem-solve on the fly. 

Whatever talent or personality trait you are trying to isolate, these tests prove points that can only be called assumptions in an initial interview. 

Moving Outside the Interview Room

Let’s be honest. The interview room and the hiring process as a whole don’t often reflect the communal nature of most working environments and companies at large. They are part of a formalized process in which both parties are trying to decide if they want to incorporate. It’s one small side of a much, much larger coin.

Getting out of that formalized setting, moving about the office or even going to lunch provides a space where the candidate’s personality and ability to interact in a non-controlled setting might emerge, giving you insights a simple questionnaire will not. 

At Cameron Smith & Associates, we work with clients who are intent on moving beyond the interview, uncovering the core competencies, talents and personality traits vital to determining if a candidate will be a valuable contributor to your ongoing professional vision. Contact us to get started.

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