Interview Tips From Professional Staffing Recruiters

Interview Tips from Professional Staffing Recruiters

Every professional staffing recruiter knows that when a hiring manager requests a meeting to discuss a new position that there is both an art and a science in hiring the best candidate for this position. 

The Science portion is usually centered around the internal processes and systems surrounding actually locating possible candidates. Does this employer recruit passive candidates in their industry?  Utilize ATS systems internally?

The Art is the ‘special sauce’ that experienced recruiters have.  Some call it the ‘gut feel’ surrounding the candidate interview process results.  These professional staffing recruiters focus  not only on the skills and background of a particular individual but also the personality, attitudes and fit needed to be successful in a particular role in this department.

Selection of the best candidate is a combined effort between the Recruiter and the Hiring Manager.  Here is a taste of the ‘secret sauce’ and Interview Tips from professional staffing recruiters at Peak Resource Group:

  • Check their references.  Be a snoop.  Read between the lines. I have only had three candidates in my extensive recruiting career that provided references of former bosses that did NOT like them.  This fact alone made me challenge their ability and smarts to work with our company.  No, I did not hire them.  Usually, when an applicant provides references they are only using people that they know will give them a glowing review.  Be a snoop. Look ‘behind the scenes’.  Google them.  Check out their LinkedIN  profile to see if they have references or involvement in their industry.  This online information is probably a more accurate representation on how this person interacts with others and their passion and abilities in their chosen field.  You also can find out a few interesting facts about them as a person. You see that they are involved in mission trips?  Cool.  You see that they were funneling beer last weekend at a football tailgate event? Not usually cool.
  • Engage the applicant with discussion topics. Engage the applicant with a scenario of how they would handle certain situations. Require them to explain each step along the way.  Ask them about a particular ‘failure’ in their career or project.  What did they learn?  If they are blaming another person or organization for a project failure, that could be a red flag.  Taking ownership and accountability for both good and not so good results can help prove honesty and integrity in your new employee.
  • Involve others in the interview process. Involving the direct reporting manager is a given.  I also involve peers within that group if I can.  Day to day, these team members are going to have direct interaction with this new employee.  Is there a good meshing of skills and personality?  Employees do not have to become best friends, but having a common passion for the work involved and the outcome can make or break the success of a team. Why have a ho-hum team when you can have a high performing group?
  • Design your questions to invoke detailed answers.   Structure your questions to provoke thought and engagement between you and your candidate.  Ask  How and Why questions?  Try to get to the heart of the issue.  The details.  The meat.  Sure, not only are their actual answers important but their choice of words and enthusiasm when sharing their answers are equally important.  Do your candidates eyes light up when they are explaining an answer?  Can you tell that this candidate has an upbeat sense of humor as well?   If a candidate provides dry, boring responses, you can probably be assured that you are seeing them at their best.  They may not be the right fit for your high energy team.

Hiring the right person for your particular position is essential. If you have ever hired the wrong person, you can see the damage in morale and productivity within your team. A wonderfully successful recruiting friend used to say, “Horses for Courses” around the office.   He was keeping, front and center in our minds, that every candidate will not fit every environment.  It is the job of every professional staffing recruiter to determine which people are the the Show Ponies. Which ones are the Triple Crown contenders? Which ones are the Work Horses? And lastly, which ones are the Nags?

So… are you interviewing a Work Horse, Show Pony, or a Nag?

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