Don’t Write Them Off So Quickly

Hiring interview

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Sometimes people rub us the wrong way in an interview.

And that’s enough for some of us to move on to the next candidate.

An exaggeration on the résumé may be grounds for some of us to pass on that candidate.

I’m not here to challenge your intuition or judgement.

If you don’t feel comfortable with someone and you want to keep looking, that’s 100% your prerogative. If you feel someone has fudged their résumé and this is simply unacceptable to you, again, you should do what you think is right.

(the word fudge means: to change facts to deceive people)

But I would ask you to consider this: sometimes what rubs us the wrong way is on our end of things and that individual could end up being a real asset for us.

And, when it comes to embellishing or exaggerating on the résumé, you probably know this is done fairly often. This does not make it right. Your integrity is important and making decisions one way or the other based on how honest an applicant is — well, this is also important.

Human beings are interesting creatures. We try to do the right thing and we sometimes find ourselves justifying the times we know we didn’t do the right thing.

“Well, I’ll just say on my résumé that I worked at Acme Enterprises a couple of months longer than I actually did. Then I can say it’s 3 years instead of 2 years and change. I think that’s okay, because if I’m hired in this new job, I’m going to do a great job here.”

Again, I’m not advising you to lower your standards.

If you find discrepancies, ask about them.

If someone rubs you the wrong way, bring that up directly and discuss it with the individual.

And of course, there are degrees in all things.

An outright lie on the résumé is different than an embellishment.

If a person rubs you the wrong way because they came into the interview wearing a tee shirt, torn jeans and slurs their words, well, that’s not so good.

I’m using some extremes here, but I’m sure you get the point. Humans aren’t perfect — none of us are — and sometimes it’s a good idea to keep that in mind when making hiring decisions.



To see how our employee test can help you bring better people on board watch this three minute video.



If you have ever interviewed someone and later discovered a "different" person is working for you, check out our new book How To Hire The Right People.


When The Tables Are Turned

hiring interview

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The ideal hiring interview will include a time when the applicant can ask you questions.

I suggest giving a wide berth to the applicant here. Let him ask away.

Here are some questions you might get:

Pay questions: How much? Is there overtime pay? How soon before a raise? Can I do special projects to earn more?

Time questions: What’s the schedule? Am I required to put in extra time? Can I put in extra time? How about weekends?

Travel questions: Am I expected to travel? Where would I be going? How long would I be away from home?

Culture questions: How would you describe the company culture? Should I know anything in particular about fitting in here?

Other company questions: How long have you been in business? What are the company’s future plans? Is there some way I can find out about the financial health of the company?

And, of course, there are more.

The kind of questions you are asked will provide some interesting insights into your applicant.

And it’s probably a good idea that you consider the questions you could be asked and have a well thought out answer ready.

All in all, letting the applicant turn the tables is a helpful and revealing part of the hiring interview. For both parties.



To see how our employee test can help you bring better people on board watch this three minute video.



If you have ever interviewed someone and later discovered a "different" person is working for you, check out our new book How To Hire The Right People.


Can They Prioritize?

Priorities

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I’m sure you know the meaning of prioritize, but I do like providing definitions.

“to put several things, problems, etc. in order of importance, so that you can deal with the most important ones first”

To be able to put things or problems in order of importance, one must know what their relative importances are.

Some employees will do what they are asked to do, what their manual says they should do and that’s that.

And that’s fine.

But that’s a baseline employee.

Bob has three tasks he needs to do. There’s only thirty minutes left in the work day. To do all three tasks is going to take an hour. What does he do?

He prioritizes.

He determines the order of importance of the three tasks and then takes care of them in that order.

What if the most important task will take up the entire thirty minutes and one of the other tasks is only a five minute task, but his supervisor urged him to get it done before he leaves?

What does Bob do?

Well, that’s part of prioritizing. He gets the five minute task done and then he pushes to get the thirty minute task done in twenty-five minutes, or he simply stays over five minutes to complete the task.

I realize this all sounds pretty simple, pretty straightforward. But we also know the ability to prioritize is not a strong suit for everyone.

The employee weak in this area will not do the five minute task and there likely will be some friction when he meets up with his supervisor the next day. Or this employee will do the five minute task, but leave the thirty minute task incomplete. This scenario may also see some friction the next day.

So, how can you determine if the person in front of you is good at prioritizing?

One way is to include this area of questioning when you speak to the applicant’s previous supervisors.

Another way is to compile a list of three, four of five tasks for the job in question and then ask the applicant to weigh them in order of importance.

You could have several of these lists put together.

It should not take a long time for the applicant to go through the tasks and give them an order of importance. If it does take awhile, not a great sign.

And your analysis of his sequence of importances will also be revealing.

An ability to prioritize is worth pursuing. Things will run smoother and be more productive.



To see how our employee test can help you bring better people on board watch this three minute video.



If you have ever interviewed someone and later discovered a "different" person is working for you, check out our new book How To Hire The Right People.


How Generous Is She?

generous employee

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Let’s look at two definitions of the word generous:

“Demonstrating a willingness to give more of oneself than is normally necessary or expected”

“Sympathetic in the way you deal with people; tending to see the good qualities in someone”

Two very interesting definitions.

The generous employee we’re considering here is not the employee who is willing to give away company resources. We’re not talking about Bob, the office manager, grabbing $50 from the cash drawer to help Alice with baby supplies.

We’re talking about a person who is generous with their own resources of time, money and effort.

How can we determine how generous someone is?

You could go about it this way:

“Allen, give me three examples of how you were generous at previous jobs.”

Observe how easily it is for Allen to come up with examples. If he comes up with them very easily, that’s a good sign. If it takes a bit of time, a bit of hemming and hawing, not the greatest sign.

Here’s another interesting approach:

“Allen, give me an instance at an earlier job where you wanted to be generous, but chose not to be.”

If you get a clear instance of this, find out why Allen decided not to be generous.

You’ll likely come up with your own methods of discovering how generous your applicant is.

I recommend doing so.

Generosity is a trait that can increase productivity and improve how smoothly things run.

Look for it when you can.

Encourage and reward it when you see it.



To see how our employee test can help you bring better people on board watch this three minute video.



If you have ever interviewed someone and later discovered a "different" person is working for you, check out our new book How To Hire The Right People.


How Fearless Are They?

Fearless

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Fearless.

That’s an interesting quality.

We’d probably want a soldier to be fearless, or at least as close to fearless as possible.

If an entrepreneur is embarking on a new activity, being fearless has its advantages there, right?

But, for our everyday applicants, is fearless a quality we’re interested in?

Let’s look at a definition of fearless : not afraid of anything. With synonyms of brave, courageous, bold, daring, adventurous.

I do like those synonyms!

If you’re looking for someone to just get the work done — and there’s absolutely nothing wrong with that — then fearless isn’t a critical quality.

But if we’re looking for someone to make a breakthrough for us, in the areas of marketing or sales, for instance, then someone bold and daring may be exactly what we’re looking for.

What if we wanted a supervisor or office manager who never backed off from handling a situation in their area? Someone who always rolled up their sleeves, waded in and located what needed to be addressed and got it resolved? What if we wanted that kind of manager?

If so, then “fearless” would be an asset, right?

So how do we locate this quality in people? A simple, direct approach would be:

“Bob, tell me some things that you’re afraid of.”

Most of the time Bob will give you some things that he’s afraid of.

A fearless Bob, however, may say, “well, there really isn’t anything that scares me.”

The key to this answer is: Did Bob deliver it quickly and easily? Did he deliver it without the slightest flinch?

In a number of earlier tips, I’ve mentioned this ability that you want to be continuing to develop:

The ability to observe when your applicant is easily answering a question and there is no “flinch.”

I think you know what I mean by “flinch.” When someone answers a question with complete comfort, you are likely getting a candid answer.

Fearless.

If you’re hiring for a position that requires a bold and daring approach, zeroing in on “fearless” may get you just what you need.



To see how our employee test can help you bring better people on board watch this three minute video.



If you have ever interviewed someone and later discovered a "different" person is working for you, check out our new book How To Hire The Right People.


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