The Art of Interviewing - Part 2- Candidate Types and Getting the Information.

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2 types of challenging interviews I usually see:
    The introvert who forces you to draw the information from them
    The "Salesperson" who is trying to sell you on themselves

Your trying to find out what type of person they are, to know if they fit your needs. It is there job to up sell you just like any good salesperson might. Occasionally though you meet people that do not interview well at all, so you have to lead them down the path.

You already know what position you are hiring for and should have a pretty good idea of the type of person you need for the job. However, it can be easy to pass up on a great employee because of the way they interview. Remember, not everyone deals well with being put "on the spot" and if the job doesn't require that kind of interaction, do not go looking for it in the interview!

You need to Control the Interview Process, set the boundaries!

Lets go each separately, starting with the "Salesperson".

The "Salesperson", is the term I use for a person who feels it is there job in the interview process to point out every positive aspect of themselves and try only to give you the answers they think you want to hear. George Carlin once referred to this in a comedy bit about dating, I believe, he called it "Meeting their Representative". Simply put, these types of interviews force you to cut through all the personal sales and marketing and get to what is meaningful.

You have to hit this dead on by getting to questions that are relevant and not allowing charm to persuade you. Charm is not always going to get your work done. Give them the opportunity to talk about themselves but be in control, use language and voice inflection to maintain that control. Force them to sum up answers to questions in 30 seconds or a minute so they really have to think! You then also learn about how they deal with pressure.

Be prepared yourself with a list of important questions for them, and let them ask you questions while subjecting yourself to the same limitations. Why? (because a smart candidate knows business owners and managers love to talk about themselves, and this gets them off track!) When asking questions, it is IMPORTANT to ask questions that they would face in your business in the real world. And listen for actual problem solving, not sales fluff!

Now the introvert.

Just the opposite, you saw something in a resume that made you call this person. All the talents you thought you needed, but here they are and they are VERY timid. You still want to ask questions, but now you should do something immediately to put them at ease. I usually remind them that I am grateful for the opportunity to speak with them, and speak much less in the authoritative tone, instead almost befriending them. Voice inflection and tone is everything in controlling tempo and emotion of an interview. You're the boss, but you can show that in different ways using communication. It's the interviewers ability to adapt that can set them apart and make them effective.

This is the person you should start by asking them a bit about themselves personally, what they do for a hobby what about the job appealed to them when they applied. Let them talk for a bit. Stay involved with body language (nods are great affirmation). Loosen them up and then ask the the job related questions. Explain your background a bit too.

The goal is all about finding out if the match is there. To do this you must first learn to understand people. It is also a good skill to use in management of these people.

Part 3 coming soon  - How useful is a resume?


Remember there are several uses for there, their, they're.. :)



About this Entry

This page contains a single entry by Craig Sutton published on August 16, 2008 1:09 PM.

Always Be Reading "Always Be Testing" was the previous entry in this blog.

Secure yourself from your in house IT Staff? Something to consider! is the next entry in this blog.

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