Your employees are your life force, your means for survival, your bread and butter. They are the mechanisms within the machine that keep things moving and running smoothly. Because of this, hiring the right employees is crucial to your success. Not only does it waste time, effort, and money to hire an incompetent worker, but it can have a seriously demoralizing effect on your other employees. In order to best avoid this headache, make sure your interview habits are conducive to landing the best candidate.
Rule Out The Lazy
From the moment you receive the resume, be on the lookout for spelling errors and pay close attention to whether things are grammatically sound. If you find more than 2 mistakes on any of their paperwork or application, do not pass them on to the next round. If they are too lazy to proofread during this critical initial step, then you can be sure that they will be just as lazy (if not lazier) once hired.
Move on to the next candidate.
You’ve been on the applicant side numerous times so you know how much stress and anxiety they are feeling. Nevertheless, as a boss you need to overlook that and set hard and fast ground rules – deal breakers for yourself. For example, create a rule that if the applicant is over 5 minutes late, they will no longer be given the privilege of interviewing. Or if you are a tech company who often conducts screen share calls with clients, set up your initial interviews via Skype or GoToMeeting. This can help expose candidates who are less than tech-savvy and shine a light on those who lack the professionalism and wherewithal to tidy their surrounding prior to the call. Presentation is everything. If they don’t know the importance of a good first impression, they are not worth knowing.
Note Their Enthusiasm
Once you’re elbow deep in resumes, applicant info will all start to blur together. It’s to be expected. Most of the applicants will have similar backgrounds and a majority of the same skills, making this process a bit boring and tedious. But once you’ve weeded out the lazy, and narrowed the applicant pool down to a few interview -worthy candidates, you are officially ready for interviews. To whittle these few down to 1, pay attention to their subtle differences and enthusiasm. If they handwrite you a thank you letter, take mental note. If they go out of their way to wish you a Merry Christmas, keep them top of mind. While I’ll admit that there is a fine line between persistence and just being annoying, those who show some restrained enthusiasm should positively stand out from the crowd.
Trust Your Gut
Every single human being gives off a vibe. It’s the energy that they bring into a room and give off during a conversation, and you can instinctively feel it whether positive or negative. While the candidate is speaking ask yourself, does this candidate seem capable of performing and completing easy tasks? Do they seem compatible with our team dynamic? Do they seem truthful when saying they want to stick around for the long-term? Always trust your gut.
You know who your ideal candidate is and what qualities they embody. Don’t settle. While the interview process is draining, it’s wiser to spend this time and energy early on so you don’t waste it on an incompetent employee who you’ll end up firing anyways- effectively restarting this whole hiring process. Try to avoid this scenario as often as possible with quality interview habits.