The internet has tremendously improved the way companies’ source candidates for specific job postings and doing background checks has become increasingly easy through online database and social media sites. Unfortunately (and fortunately for job seekers), the internet offers the same exact advantage to modern job hunters. They too get the benefit of checking out potential employers before sending in their applications and allows them to forge “personas” to accompany their resumes. This can even spill over to the actual job interview and only a skilled HR professional can tell whether the person in front of them is truly the person they say they are or just a “façade” carefully crafted to make them look like they’re perfect for the job.
Here are several tricks to unmasking an applicant and see them for who they truly are:
1. Avoid asking basic interview questions
Job seekers are now more aware of the fact that “first impressions last” and in today’s job market, it’s important to see through any pre-made “facade” so you actually hire someone that’s perfect for the job and not someone who just knows how to answer common HR questions.
if you want to somehow see the genuine side of the applicant, avoid asking anticipated questions [e.g. tell me about yourself, what are your strong assets, etc.] ask them about world peace or contraceptives [though a little farfetched]
As a recruiter, your first objective is to ensure that your applicant is at ease and comfortable. Studies have showed that, 8 out 10 applicants are nervous and overly conscious of what they will be saying during the interview which is most cases, they failed in listening questions being asked by the recruiter. If their guards are down, applicants are more sincere and genuine in their responses to your questions, hence, your probability increases in getting a more accurate information and genuine reactions from the applicants.
2. Just go through resumes is not enough
Hundreds of resumes make their way to HR’s table each day and while it may be tempting to just give each of them a once over, don’t.
The resume properly, look into the specific details, Previous work experience to current employment and the “why” is s/he applying for a new one. Skill sets, whatever it is that are applicable for the post.” He adds that “there’s really no exact tool to identify it, aside from a background check.
In addition to reviewing resumes’ and doing traditional background checks, HR representatives should also consider doing a quick social media investigation. Look the applicant up in Facebook, Twitter, and Linkedin and check their status updates, photo uploads, tweets and etc. They should give you a fairly accurate picture of who the applicant really is when they’re not attending a job interview.
3. Ask another HR to review the applicant if doubt
Another effective tip when dealing with applicants of questionable first impression is to ask the candidate to a second interview with another HR representative. Try to have the other interviewer formulate a different version of the questions previously asked to check and validate the consistency of the candidate’s reply.
Look at the 3 Cs – CONFIDENCE, CREDIBILITY and CHARM. These 3 points equates to bearing, conviction of the person and somehow a peek on the ability of the person to work with others.
It is hard to fake these 3 traits -confidence, credibility, and charm, especially if you’re interviewing fresh grads or job shifters. Rating applicants based on these criteria allows a more in-depth look at their personality and will be most helpful in making that all important decision, whether it’s to hire or not to hire, or even when endorsing applicants to the next stage of the hiring process.
Sending your HR personnel out to HR seminars and related conferences will definitely improve their skills in finding the perfect candidate for all of your job postings.
The challenge of finding the best person for just about any position is crucial as losing them through attrition or letting them go due to job mismatch can severely impact your business. At the end of the day, there are no foolproof ways to ensure you hire the best applicant but with a stringent hiring process and competent HR staff, the chances of hiring candidates that don’t fit into your company dynamics is greatly diminished.