Five interview methods to hire someone who will get the job done.

The first stages of the recruitment process are key for success down the line but the stakes are high; let the wrong candidates through and you’re wasting the hiring manager’s and your own time, turn down some hidden gems and you’re missing a world of opportunity. Intake interviews serve the purpose of preselection, validating whether behind an interesting CV there is an interesting candidate. This is usually done by phone, but frankly, the era of the phone call is over when the younger generation avoids them like the plague. It doesn’t help that they sap the time of the recruiter like nothing else so it’s a lose-lose. Digitising your process is the answer but they’re only as good as your approach. 

So how do you avoid a time-consuming conversation with an unqualified candidate that doesn’t tell you much more than the CV? In this series we will discuss different overlooked personality traits and how to qualify them. We’ll give you questions that lead to examples and honest self-reflection while not taking up more time than your run-of-the-mill standard set. Don’t wait to get to know your candidate and their potential until you get to meet them live.  Get a solid idea of what makes them tick early on in your process by asking the unexpected questions that dig deeper. 

For the second undervalued and misunderstood quality that applies to all hires, can they "get the job done"?

You might think it is not possible to assess how the candidate will be at their job until they’re a few weeks in, but there are always tell-tale signs as to what their style is and what it might look like once they’ve inserted themselves into the team. It’s all about their thought process, experience, and creativity and how that fits into the company workflow. To avoid disappointment and failed trial periods down the line, you will want to consider asking some of these questions. You will be surprised how much it changes the way you look at the recruitment process! 

In this blogpost we provide you with 5 interviewing methods:

1. How to gage if a candidate will improve the process

There are a few things that are a bigger headache than processes. The working day of all teams big and small are ruled by the processes and the dreaded admin and without a system of continuous progress any company struggles to keep up with the pace of business. A new hire may be able to look at the status quo with a fresh pair of eyes and different experience and finally solve the bottlenecks the team is experiencing. It’s important to be careful however and ensure they can still play a part of the team even if the process isn’t their favourite. If a business is to be a well-oiled machine, sometimes one person's job has to get more cumbersome for the good of the team. Here attitude matters just as much as a keen eye for process improvement

So it’s easy to see that when good process management can save time, money and nerves, the sort of candidate that has a knack for improving processes is invaluable. Nevertheless, how do you know if this is the rare gem you’re looking at? Consider incorporating some of these questions into your arsenal:

  • Describe a long-standing system that wasn’t working at your last job, what did you do about it?
  • What administrative process at work annoys you the most and how do you motivate yourself to address it? 
  • Tell us about a time you changed your mind about a process. 

2. Is your candidate a rebel with a cause? 

For some jobs and work cultures, it pays off to have an original thinker on board who isn’t afraid to stir things up. If this is something that you’re looking for to rejuvenate your workplace, a tip is to ask something particularly confrontational about their experience with your company. The benefit is three-fold; you gage whether or not they are able to speak their mind, if they have good ideas on improvement off the fly, and equally if they will be presenting unproductive difficulties when they don’t like something. 

It’s always a delicate balance with the non-conformist, so make sure your candidate is the one pushing for awesome change rather than just wanting to get the last word in. The security of the team matters just as much as the innovative thinking, since the lone genius is mostly a myth, so it doesn’t have to be an either/or. Make sure you understand what management can handle and then go right ahead to find out the unique traits of your candidate. Here are some broad questions to get onto this line of thinking:

  • Now that you’ve experienced it, tell us how you would improve our interviewing process. 
  • Why shouldn’t we hire you? 
  • Who is your role model and why? 

When it comes to finding your perfect original, always look for the unexpected answers!

Can they "get the job done"?

Can the candidate produce meaningful change? 

Asking candidates about their adaptability and attitude to change is an interview mainstay, but this question can be broken down into a million sub questions especially when there is a specific trait you want to suss out. Workers often have to adapt to change around them, but what about producing change themselves?

We have already discussed how to understand if your candidate is a lifelong learner, but now it’s time to explore a different perspective. Can they adapt those learnings, and fast, when there is a change in the process? 

  • Have you ever had to convince your team to accept change, why do you think people are resistant to change? 
  • When introducing a new process, what do you find important to track and adjust? Walk us through what the implementation looks like for you. 

How to recognise a candidate that will own their KPI’s

What is the end goal of your new hire? Businesses need targets, successful outcomes are indeed a matter of life and death for many teams, especially in the start-up landscape, and yet many candidates are either afraid of the numbers or are simply not motivated by them. But if a numbers and KPI’s driven attitude is what you’re looking for in a hire, then get them going on their achievements and they won’t give you vague answers. 

There is no place for modesty in a job interview, especially because it is often a front for a candidate that didn’t keep good track of their outcomes and achievements. And that’s not all, apart from great outcomes, it is also to gage the level of ownership the candidate had. Even a modest task, if it comes with great outcomes and high ownership, reveals a quality candidate. So, what are some intelligent questions to get the full picture with the details that tell you what exactly they had done? Here you go:

  • What achievement has been the most significant in your previous job/career? What was the story? 
  • What was your favourite project you have been on and why? 
  • What do you think the biggest challenge will be to delivering successful outcomes in this role?

How a candidate with good judgement leads to less bureaucracy

We’re back to process, but it can’t be emphasised enough when you’re trying to understand what sort of worker your candidate is. You want a future colleague that will make the work of the team better, not the same or worse and often that means assessing their way of navigating bureaucracy.

To understand what the candidates' relationship to the red tape will be, you can ask some questions about the times they were faced with the unknown ,scary and out of their control. It’s not the most obvious line of questioning but here’s the catch: if a candidate has good judgement, they have less need for bureaucracy and some rules simply become unnecessary. It is a risk to always rely on a game book with the fast and unpredictable pace of the modern workplace, so a candidate whose head is screwed on tight even under pressure makes life so much easier. Given the soft skill focus of this trait, what can you ask? Here are some ideas:

  • In which job were you most miserable? Why and how did you deal with it?
  • Describe a time when you recognized that you were unable to meet multiple deadlines. What did you do about it?

Start now

Try out your perfect question set with Audio Intakes and discover the right candidate without any form of live communication!

Success story: Custom Training elevates recruitment with Audio Intakes

Custom Training was looking for a way to efficiently pre-select a lot of candidates.
Read full post

Transitioning from Cover Letters to Voice-Based Motivations

Transitioning from cover letters to voice-based motivations doesn't have to be daunting.
Read full post

Voice-Based Motivations: The New Cover Letter

Cover letters are gradually losing their popularity among job seekers and employers.
Read full post

Transform your talent journey, today.