3 Ways to Drill Down to the Truth to Find Better Candidates

Resumes and references are helpful, but we all know they don’t tell the whole story.

They point to where the job candidate worked, give titles to the roles they played, and provide friendly recommendations. How can an interviewer determine just how skilled the candidate really is short of actually trying him out on the job?

Here are three techniques from our behavior based interviewing programs that can help you to become a more effective interviewer and drill down closer to the truth of the candidate’s abilities:
  1. Keep on asking good questions. Don’t be satisfied with the candidate’s first reply. To learn more about his real qualifications in a specific situation, continue to probe with “what” “when” where” “why” “who” and “how” questions until you reach the limit of their knowledge.  While you do not want to interrogate the candidate, you do want to uncover the information necessary to determine if they are a good fit. 
  2. Ask a colleague to join you. Interviewing as a team allows for deeper and more varied observation, perspective and feedback.  Just make sure that you have a solid game plan in terms of roles, goals approach and timing.
  3. Role-play and Whiteboard. Over the years, we have been amazed at the number of highly recommended candidates who fall flat when “tested.”  Using simple simulations, scenarios and role-plays are great techniques to uncover the “empty suits” who are a good first date but can’t truly perform.
Drill down to the truth so you can be smart in your hiring decisions and won’t lose time and money by overestimating a candidate’s actual skill level

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