Posting on job boards brings the masses. Interviews thin the pool. But how do you actually know when you’ve found the right candidate for the role you’re hiring for? Learning how to choose the best applicant for a job is an essential skill that every company in every industry needs to master if they want to grow their team effectively.
How to Find the Best Candidate for a Job
Job interviews—we’ve all dreaded them as interviewees, and interviewers leave the vast majority of them with the knowledge that the person they just talked to isn’t right for the job. But they still remain among the most effective ways for companies to sift through talent. Why? It seems relatively straightforward—you get to sit with a candidate face-to-face (or Zoom-to-Zoom) and ask them questions that (hopefully) reveal key personality traits, work habits, future goals, and previously overlooked weaknesses. That should be more than enough for employers to go off of to make the right choice, right? Not necessarily.
There’s often a disconnect between an interview and the actual duties that the interviewee would perform should they land the job. In the case of Controller’s Group, Inc., we staff candidates at firms looking for team members to fill their accounting and finance department. Those jobs are often completed in team environments, but they’re not as personality-driven as, say, a sales role. And while people skills are important for success and integration into any work setting, they may not be the most comprehensive indicator of the candidate’s future performance.
It’s Not Just About Asking the ‘Best,’ Questions to Ask in an Interview
It’s about asking the right questions. “Where do you see yourself in five years?” “What are your weaknesses?” Sure, these might seem like they’d be revealing as far as information you’d like to know about the candidate, but do they actually tell you what you need to know concerning the role you want to hire for?
Therein lies the issue—interviews are incomplete methods, but that doesn’t mean they can’t be fine-tuned so that you’re more able to extract the information you’re looking for. In this blog, we’ll go over what advice for interviewing candidates has helped our clients in the past so that your team can move forward with your job search with confidence.
Be Narrow, Not Broad
Vague questions beget vague answers. Be clear about your expectations for the position and press them on how their skill set aligns with what you require. Specific questions can be guided toward revealing information about temperament and experience, both of which can be extremely helpful for finding out which candidate is right for you.
Give Them Problems to Solve, Rather Than Questions to Answer
Part of any job is going to ultimately come down to how quickly and effectively an employee can put out fires. Mistakes happen in any workplace, and the sign of a competent, experienced professional is their ability to avoid, mitigate, and resolve complex, stubborn, consistent problems. Why not give the candidate a chance to solve one?
Think about what issues they’ll face in the role and ask them to come up with a solution. It forces them to think quickly, using only the tools at their immediate disposal. You’ll get more of an idea for how they approach situations as opposed to having them just regurgitate a stock answer about their five-year plan.
Grow Your Team With CGI
Toward the end of the Vietnam War, a formal process to restore peace began between North and South Vietnam and that would force the removal of all U.S. troops from the country. Negotiations were tense—representatives could not even agree on the shape of the table that talks would commence around (Northern representatives favored a circle, signifying equal importance of all parties involved; Southern representatives requested a rectangle so that it was clear that there were two distinct sides).
Job interviews do not (and should never) carry the same stakes as a tense, drawn-out geopolitical conflict. But the point is this—if you’re not getting the results you want, change the scope of the situation you’re in. Interviewers who are frustrated at the quality of answers they typically get need to think outside the box. Don’t just sit behind a desk and fire questions at the candidate—take them out to lunch, introduce them to staff, do something that’s going to force them to approach the situation differently.
Grow Your Team With CGI
How do you know whether you made the right hiring decision? There’s only so much that’s within your control. One step you can take is choosing a recruiting specialist that has a track-record of proven success. When you collaborate with Controller’s Group, Inc., you’re guaranteed a partner who understands what it takes to deliver qualified candidates that provide the right fit. For more information on how our services can help your company succeed, reach out to our team today.