National Connections, Local Ownership
National Connections, Local Ownership

Make Sure the Candidate You’re Interviewing Is the Right “Fit”

The candidate had the right resume, did well in the phone screening, now it’s time for the face-to-face interview. How do you know if this candidate is the right “fit.”

In her continuing IdeaXchange blog series on recruiting, Jane Clark, Vice President of Member Services, has turned to the subject of the in-person interview. You may consider the in-person interview a relatively straightforward process, where you test a candidate’s knowledge of the position for which they are applying. But skills, though vitally important, should only be part of the interview. What is also extremely important is to make sure the candidate is the right fit for the position and your company’s culture.

Jane notes some statistics that reveal how important this interview can be:

  • 57% of new hires fail within the first 18 months on the job
  • Almost half of those failures was a result of cultural issues (only 11% failed because they lacked the necessary skills)
  • 82% of managers admit the saw “red flags” during the interview but did not act on them

With this is mind, companies should make sure to include behavior-based questions during the interview, because as Jane notes, “past behavior predicts future performance.” But the questions shouldn’t be ad hoc questions that have no relationship to the position the person is being interviewed. Select a specific competency that would be required and then ask a question that may begin with “Tell me about a time or a situation…” At that point, the candidate will reveal how a problem or issue was handled and what role he or she played in the resolution of that situation.

It’s also important to make sure that you ask each candidate you interview the same questions so you can make an informed decision. And ask questions that will reveal how that candidate will fare within your company culture. In other words, if you are a company that fosters autonomy in workers and the candidate indicates that he or she is looking for close supervision, that may not be a good match for either you or the candidate.

If the match seems like a good one, Jane suggests that a company should hire that candidate quickly. However, until that candidate steps into the job continue to interview just in case the original offer falls through.

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