What you can learn about your next potential new hire before the interview

I regularly interview candidates for open positions for my clients. I am often the first line of contact with these candidates. Your initial interactions with a candidate, can tell you a lot about the individual before you even sit down to interview them. Here are 3 things you can learn through observation.

  1. How they treat people-How they speak/communicate with you is important to observe.  Just like observing how someone treats a waiter shows their character- how they speak to your recruiter or administrators will do the same.  If you are doing the hiring, make a point to ask these people their observations or feelings on the interaction with the employee.  Look and listen for condescending tones or impolite behavior.
  2. Sense of urgency– a candidates response time to your communications will tell you a lot about their sense of urgency. The higher the sense of urgency, the more likely they will be to juggle multiple activities and prioritize. The lower their sense of urgency, the more methodical they might be.
  3. Follow-through– I often ask candidates to do something specific when I first interact with them. It could be filling out an application or sending me something. You can learn a lot about follow-through and initiative in those first interactions with a candidate.

While these observations are usually great indicators of a candidate, they aren’t perfect. However, it’s a great baseline to explore further in your interactions and test your initial observations about a candidate in an interview situation.


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