Hiring Past First Impressions

During an interview, the candidate is (hopefully) on their best behavior to strike a good first impression, as they are seeking a job. As a result, many times employers hire the wrong personnel, as it is much easier for a person to leave a good first impression than to perform the role up to standard. The best interviewers avoid the traps from the first impressions or gut feelings because they organize the subconscious factors at play during the interview. You can use a few techniques that will enable you to see if an individual is right for the job. The following techniques will also enable you to hear more deeply, even if you have only a short time to select and interview the candidate. With the tools below, you can better asses if the individual is right for the open position.
1. Pay attention to behaviors rather than traits. The basic resume is filled with the cliche adjectives like “hard working”, “team player”, and “creative”. These individuals want to present themselves to be the most qualified candidate for the position. However, if interviewees describe themselves as “team players”, do they really credit others when discussing their work? Ask the interviewee, “What are the top things you’re most proud of in the past five months?” Pay close attention to how they describe their accomplishments. Do they emphasize personal or team accomplishments? Listen for what’s not said, specifically whether they credit their coworkers. If your hiring for presentation skills, have them conduct a presentation. This will allow you to see if the individual is a good match in ability and personality for your business.
2. Listen for learners. A common interview question regards an instance of failure. This question of failure can reveal a lot about an individual if you immediately analyze their answer. Do they blame the failure to their lack of fit in the area, bad luck, or other excuses? Reach of these answers acknowledges the failure but doesn’t acknowledge learning as part of the process. Listen for the interviewee who identifies factors that they could alter and control in the future. This is the individual who is capable of self reflection and learning.
3. Listen for conflict. Business owners, managers, and coworkers realize the power if another essential question: “Tell me about your least preferred colleague.” Listen for whether they reduce the person to a one word statement like “difficult” or reveal a more complex view of the situation. Labels are quick but final, leaving people with few solutions to work with the other person. The more complex interpretation allows people ways to efficiently negotiate with one another.
4. Look for cues. Look beyond what the interviewee is saying, how are they saying it? While one individual radiates confidence, this confidence also leaked feelings of power, egocentrism, and low concern for others. Even though interviewees may be on their best behavior, you may be able to detect certain physical signals that demonstrate false behavior.

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