How to Assess a Candidate Before Making a Job Offer

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Human Resources departments across the United States regularly spend thousands of dollars during the hiring process—just to hire a single applicant. What many businesses fail to understand is that it is far from necessary to spend this much for a hire. Many businesses cannot afford to fail to screen out candidates who are a bad fit for their venture. This wastes time, money and energy—precious resources for anyone, especially a business in need of new, competent employees. To avoid this, here are four tips to ensure that you correctly assess the right candidate for the right job.

Ask Real Life Problems During the Interview

Instead of asking predictable questions, such as “Where do you see yourself in 5 years?” prepare some questions which present scenarios applicable to the work your company does. For example, for a management position that requires sensitivity and diversity experience, ask the candidates how they would deal with a realistic diversity conflict between co-workers. For an IT-related position, have the IT Manager prepare a few examples of common networking issues and let the candidate explain how they would troubleshoot and fix the problem. Be sure to ask candidates real questions that allow them to demonstrate their skills, knowledge and experience.

Engage the Job Applicant

Don’t restrict the interview to the conference room. Instead, take final applicants on a quick tour of the office or facility. See how they interact and behave with employees. Does the salesperson applicant look startled and overwhelmed with all the office hustle and bustle? Do they easily socialize with others and ask thoughtful questions? An informal tour is an excellent way to gauge how the potential hire will potentially fit into the company.

Expand Your Feedback Circle

Many HR professionals and business owners make the mistake of relying solely on their own judgment—and on the opinions of those directly involved with the interview. Understandably, it is legally advisable to follow the standard HR practice of using a fair and well-documented rating system for the interview and final hiring decision. However, references can be obtained by simply calling the company and asking to speak to their previous supervisor. Many companies have rules that restrict supervisors sharing employee information due to liability issues. However, valuable information can still be gleaned from the attitude and overall reaction of the supervisor. In addition to this, ask other employees who interacted with the job applicant to get their feel. A lot can be said about a job applicant who condescendingly mistreats a secretary while filling out a job applicant, but then behaves like a perfect gentleman during the interview.
In conclusion, HR managers and interviewers can successfully choose the right person through gauging the job applicants’ desire to learn, asking realistic questions during the interview, engaging the job applicant through an informal tour and expanding the circle of feedback.

About the Author:

Emma is a freelance writer from Boston, MA. She writes most often on education and business. Information used in this article was provided by a human resources manager who advises employers on how to look for candidates with not only experience and undergraduate degrees, but the ability to adapt and innovate when faced with new challenges.