Getting Behind the Mask: How to Uncover the “Real” Job Candidate

Getting Behind the Mask: How to Uncover the “Real” Job Candidate

As a one of today’s leading staffing agencies, Peoplelink knows that hiring is hard work, plain and simple.

Part of what makes it so challenging is that you can’t always get an accurate picture of who a candidate is during the hiring process. Resumes and interviews can only tell you so much. In addition, each candidate is working hard to put their best foot forward…and keep their weaknesses hidden from view.

So what are some tactics you can employ throughout the process to uncover who a job candidate really is – and ensure you hire right? Here’s a look at a four:

1. Do Your Homework.

Job candidates shouldn’t be the only one preparing for the hiring process. You too should be doing your homework and digging deeper in order to find the right candidates to bring in for an interview. To do that, look for red flags on resumes and in cover letters. Examples include unexplained employment gaps and inconsistencies in job titles, duties, and employment history.

Also, when reviewing resumes, circle and make notes about points you want to discuss with candidates either in a phone screen or during a face-to-face interview.

For example, if you see a particular candidate has experience managing a team of 10 employees, then ask questions such as: “I see from your resume you led a team of 10. Tell me about a time your team got off track and how you got them back working in the right direction.”

These types of experience-based questions will give you a better sense of the “real” job candidate.

2. Ask Follow Up Questions.

Speaking of interview questions, it’s important to also ask follow up questions as a part of your interviewing strategy. Why? Because a smart candidate is going to practice answers to commonly asked interview questions. As a result, the first answer is typically canned.

However, follow up questions (such as “tell me more,” “how did you accomplish that?,” “do you think you could achieve the same results here? how so?”) enable you to dig deeper and uncover specific details and facts about the candidate’s performance and experience. And if a candidate still only offers vague answers to your prompts for more information, then they may not be telling the truth.

3. Don’t Rely on a Single Interview.

There are plenty of bad candidates out there who can give Oscar-worthy performances in a job interview. So don’t rely on a single interview in your hiring process. If you’re interested in a candidate, bring him or her back in and ask other key players in the company to participate in the second round of interviews. Having additional perspectives is helpful; in addition, one of your colleagues may ask an important question you didn’t think to.

4. Give the Candidate Some Homework.

Reading a list of bullets on a resume can’t really give you a true sense of a candidate’s skill level. So have them complete a mock project for you. You’ll not only get a better sense of what they can bring to the table, but you’ll also be able to gauge their enthusiasm and motivation, particularly when they’re presenting their work to you.

Even the most talented interviewer can make a bad hiring decision, or pass on a great candidate. But when you dig a little deeper and spend more time on the hiring process, you can gain a clearer picture of who a candidate really is…and then determine if they’re the right fit for you.

Need Some Help With the Hiring Process?

As a one of today’s leading staffing agencies, Peoplelink can take the hassle out of hiring. We can handle the process for you – from sourcing candidates to interviewing and testing them to ensure you get the best-fit new hire. So if you’re ready for some help with the hiring process, let Peoplelink know.