While most job prospecting focusing on the job seeker, there needs to be a significant amount of focus placed on recruiters. Recruiters are the first line of contact that job seekers have with potential employers, and these interactions can make a serious difference in whether or not a job seeker gets hired, but also whether he or she gets placed with the right company. Below are some things that recruiters need to do in order to select the best candidates within the first few moments of interaction:
1. Be Casual
These days, it seems that recruiters are split into two categories: those who want to conduct a formal interview and those who have a conversation. The problem is that those who wish to conduct a formal interview are stuck in the past. Leave the formal interview, or even the informal interview, up to the company you represent. There’s no need to ask questions like, “Tell me about a time when you were given little information about a project with a tight deadline.” Again, leave that to the hiring manager at the company that is looking for candidates.
2. Focus on Personality
Instead, focus on personality and cultural fit. The reason for this is that, regardless of skills and experience, the right fit typically comes in the form of personality. A candidate might sound great on paper, but if he or she is not the right fit for a client, it means nothing. Instead, talk to the candidate like an actual human. Discuss qualifications, sure, but talk about who the candidate is as a person. In order to bring out personality, talk about what the candidate likes to do in his or her free time. Ask about interests. Once again, have a conversation.
3. Discuss Career Goals
Everyone gets asked, “Where do you see yourself in the next five years?” during interviews. The question is meant to gauge the candidate’s interest in the position and how much research they have done, but think deeper. Instead of asking a clichéd question, for which the candidate is sure to have a canned response, ask about the candidate’s hopes, dreams, and goals. Basically, don’t box the candidate in and expect him or her to be honest. Ask a question like, “If you could do anything, what would you do?” This line of approach will provide a much more clear and concise version of who the candidate is as a professional and a person.
4. Discuss Pride Over Success
Another mistake that interviewers make is delving too deeply into success while ignoring pride. A candidate who may be perfect for the position may not have too many successes in his or her past, but he or she may be very proud of a particular project. This pride shows how hard he or she worked in the past, and even if the result was no a resounding success, the pride in effort should be taken into account.
How should a recruiter’s interview approach differ from a hiring manager’s?
Andrew Rusnak is an author who writes on topics that include recruiting and business development.
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