How to Determine if a Great Interviewee is Really a Great Candidate

Your candidate seems to be hitting this interview right out of the park. They’re engaging, quick on their feet, and they have a perfect answer for everything you throw their way. When you ask a philosophical question (like, “Why do you want this job?”), their responses are thoughtful and articulate. When you give them a technical question, they offer a fast and accurate answer. When you set them up for a demonstration of wit, flexibility or humor, they hit the bullseye.

This candidate seems great! They meet all the right qualifications and interviewed better than the majority of other applicants. But does this really mean the candidate is right for the job? Here are a few ways to determine if your candidate is a perfect match, or just a perfect interviewee.

Give them a problem to respond to with a solution.

When it comes to specific or technical skills sets (such software skills, foreign languages or business expertise), don’t just ask if they know the answers. Put their skills to a real-time test. Ask your candidate to draw, explain or resolve a complex problem within a given time on the spot. Provide tricky scenarios and give them a chance to resolve a problem they could encounter on the job if hired.

Assign a project as part of the interview.

Give your candidate something to take home and complete on their own schedule. Assign a task that relates to design, procedure, planning or implementation. Keep the task simple and short, and make sure it reflects the kind of work they will be completing every day on the job. Witty remarks won’t help much with this; to excel at this task, the candidate will have to show some focus, experience and depth of knowledge.

Take them out of the interview office.

An interview office represents a specific setting with an established place in our culture. Interview rooms are typically quiet, professional and orderly. They’re free of dirt and distractions, and they’re conducive to talk and thought. The issue is that some job settings aren’t like this at all.

If your workplace tends to be chaotic, bright, noisy or unpredictable, move your interview to a similar setting. Try a busy coffee shop, your factory floor or even a noisy street corner.

Listen to them talk about something that’s important to them.

If you strike the right note, your interviewee will probably lean in and light up. But if you simply can’t find that note, and you can’t identify a single area of interest or personal passion outside of this workplace and this job, that may be a sign of trouble.

For more on how to size up your candidate’s skills sets and personality, contact the recruiting experts at Executive Alliance.

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