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The Recruiters guide to candidate assessment.

Regardless of the industry, success in most jobs requires various abilities and skill sets. They should be able to work well with everyone and have the ideal job skills and experience. If they are difficult to get along with, or maybe lack the expertise required for the job,  they may wind up causing unneeded workplace conflicts, stress or even turnover.
Nobody needs that.
It’s no secret, that, hiring great people starts with great interviewing techniques. Here are tips to find out what you want to know during a job interview.

Pay attention to non-verbal cues:

Body Language aka Non-verbal cues speak a lot about a candidate in an interview, maybe even more than what the candidate has to say. Numerous studies break communication down in the following way:

55% – Body Language
38% – Intonation
7% – Verbal

Unfortunately, candidates know that too. Savvy candidates put in work to control their behaviors that can be considered inappropriate such as jiggling, twitching etc. How can you assess a candidate without resorting to “gotcha” tactics? There are several foolproof ways to assess a candidate’s nonverbal cues, here are a 6:

  1. Observation: Note the candidate’s in the waiting room. Do they appear relaxed, engaged? are they looking at their surroundings, demonstrating curiosity about the company? Are they anxious?  Did they greet the receptionist in a friendly manner?
  2. First impressions: Does the candidate appear niche? Does he/she have a genuine smile? How is their handshake?
  3. Storytelling: Does their body language match their story? Are they proud of an accomplishment? (Sitting up straight, engaged, smiling if appropriate.)
  4. Eye contact: Do they engage in excessive eye contact? This could mean that they have an aggressive personality or maybe they are just trying to hard.
  5. Meet and greet: Introduce them to other employees – peers, superiors or support staff – and observe how they behave. Are they friendly, curious and appropriately behaved with each?
  6. Mirroring: This is popular practice adopted by those who “over-train” for the interview. Do they mirror your posture? This can be faked, but it tends to seem obvious.

Ask behavioral questions for assessing soft skills:

Ideally, you want to hire someone with solid social skills; including, things like self-awareness, empathy, social intelligence and self control. You can try customizing the following questions to determine if your candidate has the interpersonal skills required:

  • Describe influences on your career to this point. Pay attention to how they describe others in their answer. Responses that are highly judgmental or give little credit to others may be associated with low sensitivity to co-workers.
  • What are the most effective ways to manage you? This answer would reveal how self-aware a candidate is, as well as their understanding of the keys to success.
  • Describe a complex challenge you faced as part of a team or group. How did you overcome it? Note the role the interviewee played, as well as how they describe the interactions they had with co-workers.
  • When work gets stressful and you feel overloaded, how do you handle things? Obviously, your candidate is not likely to say that they gnash their teeth and lash out at co-workers. Yet, their response may provide clues as to whether or not they work well with others when things get tough at work.

No matter what questions you ask to assess soft skills:

  • Probe mundane responses to uncover true evidence of the skills you seek (anecdotes, success stories, measurable accomplishments and the like).
  • Resist the urge to rate a candidate favorably based on a “gut feeling.”

Need help hiring people?

We can help you take the speculation and risk out of recruiting, screening and hiring.  Our experience and expertise is designed to eliminate chance and inconsistency, helping you to receive better quality candidates each and every time. Whether your needs are entry-level or management, we can make your hiring process more successful.

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