Interviews: First Impressions Can Be Wrong

First ImpressionsWe’ve all talked about how well someone interviews, gets selected for the position, yet didn’t perform as expected. As a hiring manager, how can you ensure the interview process will identify the right candidate? You have done your due diligence to narrow down your list of top recruits. They’re lined up outside your door, about to sell you on why you should award them the position. You assume your candidates are ready, but how prepared are you?

The interview is probably the most important point in the hiring process and can be one of the most challenging. Most managers don’t take the time to properly prepare for the interview. They rely too heavily on instinct and first impressions, which can be biased and often influenced by too many variables.

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First impressions are a powerful influence, good or bad, so how do you ensure that you don’t let them become such an overbearing factor in the interview process? How do you ensure the success of the interview will be based on facts about the candidate and their responses related to the company and the position? At Software Resources, we have developed a list of tips to help our clients overcome the challenges of interviewing and ensure the best possible candidate is selected.

  1. Determine what you need most from the candidate in this position and how would you identify those skills or qualities.
  2. Communicate to the candidate prior to the interview the best way for them to share past work. Prior to the interview have them submit a portfolio, complete a skills test, or simply ask detailed questions about the skills they will be expected to know during the interview.
  3. Give the candidate an opportunity to express how they will add value to the position and the company.
  4. Dig deeper if there are any questions raised by the review of the application, cover letter, resume or references.
  5. Be clear about your expectations for the position and all challenges the candidate may face.
  6. Incorporate into the interview an opportunity for the candidate to demonstrate how they would problem-solve and overcome a potential challenge.
  7. Have the candidate share a past mistake, how did they overcome the mistake and what did they learn.
  8. Get the candidate’s perception of the company, the position and what it will take to be successful in this role.
  9. Determine what motivates the candidate.

Ask questions that will unveil the candidate’s true passions. This does not have to be career-related. Understanding what someone values will help determine if they will fit into the culture of your organization and what will keep their long-term commitment and loyalty.

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John Giaimo
John Giaimo is president of Software Resources Inc., an IT Staffing Solutions firm.

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