Deciphering a candidate’s employment record during the interview – made easy !!!
The best indicator of a candidate’s future performance with you is their past performance . But you have to know what to look for !!!
Employment behavior tends to follow consistent patterns. A low achiever has a record of low achievement and a high achiever has a record of high achievement. The confusing part is deciphering a candidate’s employment record during the interview and evaluation process!
Low achievers are usually very good at “hiding” in successful departments. As an interviewer it is your responsibility to find out the actual contributions, accomplishments and employment record of the candidate to determine if a high or low achiever is sitting in front of you. In 28 years of recruiting we have learned that one of the most common mistakes employers make is hiring low performers from successful companies.
As the interviewer, you must ask the questions that will yield the information you need to make a smart hiring decision.
During the interview, probe candidates about their accomplishments, their specific role, dates and time frames, awards, bonuses, promotions, attendance and good teammate traits. Then verify with references. Do not miss the “verify with references “ part! Learn from the automotive finance and banking industry – they do not just ask customers “how they pay their bills” do they? No, they verify – so should you!
Don’t allow important questions to be answered with soft answers. They provide you with no real assessment value. Ask for facts, details and information to support their contributions and references who will verify them.
In a quarter of a century of recruitment we have found certain questions can be very revealing. Of course many question will be asked, but keep the 80/20 rule in mind when it comes to revealing questions! Following is an example that I use when interviewing Sales Managers. Whether your position is a National Sales Manager over the entire US, or a Sales Manager for an automotive dealership, a few intelligent questions reveals so much from the interview.
Now watch as I drill down for specifics and remember that the devil lies in the detail !
After a general discussion about our client’s sales staff and its strengths and weaknesses
I ask : Now that you know the issues our client has with its sales staff tell me how you will help their sales staff perform much better for you than they are now.
Candidate answer : I will motivate them to sell
My follow up – Walk me through the details how you have done that in the past …
Candidate answer : I will train them to be better, I’m a great trainer
My follow up – Share some significant details about your training program and walk me through your ” from-to “results …
Candidate answer : I will hold them accountable for their results
My follow up – That sounds great, let’s talk about your current system to hold your people accountable …
I do not allow for soft or generic answers to specific questions. You shouldn’t either. The high performers will have specific answers and be able to support their “from – to” results.
You as the interviewer must lead and ask the questions that will yield the information you need to make a smart hiring decision. Become great at developing these revealing questions and pursuing details so that you can decipher a candidate’s true employment record. We have a separate article devoted to “Intelligent Interviewing “ that goes into more detail.
Please keep in mind we are not trying to stump a candidate, we want to learn about them so we can make an astute judgement on how they will perform in the future with our client.
CEO / Automotive Personnel, LLC
Twitter : @DonJasensky
“We Find The People Who Drive The Automotive Industry since 1989”