The job search process is often long on data but short on personality. This is especially true for qualities such as reliability, which only really become clear after working with someone for a period of time.
The resume provides information on education and work history, but a sense of the person is often lacking. That’s because much of the work of getting to know a candidate happens in the interview and, generally, these don’t provide a lot of time to get to know a prospect as a person.
You only get a few minutes to boil down a candidate’s entire personality, usually leaving a lot of room for guesswork.
However, there are steps you can take to limit this problem. Here are some tips you can use to shape interview questions to get a better handle on a prospect’s reliability.
Get Concrete Examples
Don’t frame your questions in abstract or general terms. Encourage the candidate to tell a few stories. Basically, ask them for specifics, for concrete evidence, that shows you that they’ll be a contributor on a day-to-day basis.
Try questions like: “Tell me about a time you let down a coworker” or “tell me about a time you had to leave work before your work was done for the day.”
Take a Different Tact
The “right” answer sometimes becomes too obvious. You end up listening to 1,000 variations of the same reply, because a candidate with even a modicum of common sense can figure out the answer you want to hear.
To avoid this, look for ways to diffuse the obvious answers. Usually, this only takes a slight step off the usual course, a mild variation meant to short-circuit rote responses.
Try things like “tell me about a time someone questioned your reliability.” By shifting the perspective of the query, you might get a more honest reply.
Try a Hypothetical
Another trick to prevent pre-programmed replies: make it a riddle. Construct a hypothetical situation where multiple answers seem reasonable. Make sure there are no clear “right” responses for these.
Try things like, “You are in a meeting with a client that has gone much longer than you had anticipated, but they would like you to stay even longer to complete a particular part of the project. However, doing so will make you late for a scheduled meeting with another client. What do you do?”
Double Check with References
Don’t take anyone’s word for it. The people you are interviewing are doing everything they can to present themselves in the best light. That’s their job. Your job is to prevent them from getting something over on you.
Luckily, there is a way to check a candidate’s reliability: their references. When you contact their references, ask questions about the prospect’s reliability. Make sure the specifics fit with what you were told in the interview.
Make the Right Hire, The First Time
Another way to avoid issues of reliability: working with a recruiter. The truth about someone’s reliability often only surfaces after months of working with them. But a staffing partner will already be familiar with its candidates’ work histories and can find the perfect fit for your needs.
Contact LaborMax today for more information.