The Hiring Crystal Ball: How to See If The Candidate Can Do The Job

Blog located in Working in Canada posted on November 29, 2013

Have you ever wished that you had a crystal ball that would tell you if you should or shouldn`t hire the candidate you are interviewing? There are so many distractions during an interview, preventing you to make a decision as clear as a crystal ball can make it. Some things to look for in the absence of a crystal ball are:

1. The candidate must be likeable

Check for a smile, eye contact and enthusiasm. Think about the fact that you are looking to establish an employer-employee relationship right from the get go. Remember that this relationship starts with the interview (if not before.)

A candidate who makes a great first impression and sparks a real connection instantly becomes a big fish in a very small short-list pond. The candidate may have solid qualifications, but if you don`t think you`ll  enjoy working with him/her, then don`t hire him/her.

2. The candidate must have a brand

A brand is what will make the candidate unique. It`s what will make him/her stand out. You want to remember that candidate. If you remember that candidate, chance are your clients will also do the same, AND will want to work with him/her.

It does not need to be anything big. It could be his/her way of communicating (maybe a British accent) or, it could be the candidate that won a marathon. It could also be his/her approach to building relationships with his/her boss.

3. The candidate must fit your company culture

While job skills and qualifications are important, cultural fit is equally if not more- critical.If you are a small business and the candidate is used to working in big corporations, you want to ask him about what is attracting him/her to work for you. Ask him behavioural questions. His/her answers should address the Why? Who? What? and When? of the situation.

4. The candidate must be able to answer non-traditional questions

Give yourself permission to ask non-traditional questions to help you evaluating the fit of the candidate in your business. Questions like: “What concerns do you have about our business?” (give a few more examples here) Find out ifthe candidate that you want to hire has done sufficient research to know that he/she can thrive, make a difference in your specific culture.

5. The candidate must ask good questions

Check for questions related to how the candidate can contribute to YOUR success. Questions like:  “What are the priorities of the job right now? “ “How do I fit in?” In a way, the candidate must ask specific questions related to the job. You role is to listen to why he/she wants the job. This will help you in making sure that the candidate is motivated and engaged.

Based on my 30 years of hiring and firing experience, following this advice will provide sufficient knowledge for you to be successful when you hire for your small business without a crystal ball.

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