Unorthodox Tips for Hiring the Right Person

Hiring is a very delicate process. If you are tasked with hiring, it is your job to ensure that you get the right candidate. The way standard hiring works is too predictable and that is why you should shake things up. The tips below should help you refine a new hiring methodology, so you get the right candidate for the position you need to be filled.

Take the Candidate on a Tour

Some of the most important questions to answer when hiring are:

  • Will the candidate treat people well and as equals?
  • Are they genuinely interested in working for your company?

It is almost impossible to get an answer to these questions while sitting behind a desk. A good idea is to take the candidate on a tour of the office. As you watch the way they react to the office as well as how they treat other people, you will get a better sense of where they stand. Some of the questions to ask yourself include:

  • Do they respect everyone regardless of their title?
  • Are they curious about other people and what they do?
  • Are they asking about how the company works?
  • What aspects of the company and their colleagues are they most interested in?

You could always take the candidate out for a drive or even a walk outside and see how they interact with you. Their personality will show better when they are in a relaxed environment as opposed to a bland conference room.

Take Them for a Meal

A lot of leaders use lunch or dinner to figure a candidate out. As with the tour of the company you have to pay attention to:

  • How they treat people perceived to be lower than them
  • Do they maintain eye contact?
  • Are they irritated by small things?
  • Are they smart enough to keep a conversation going?
  • Do they give other people right of way?

If any of these points give you answers that you do not like, the candidate is likely not a good fit for you or your company.

Change Up the Job Interview

Interviews are too predictable. The candidate knows that:

  • You will ask to see their resume
  • You will ask about their references
  • You will make small talk

Instead of doing it this way, why not change it up? Start by putting them in challenging situations to see how they react to stress. Are they able to solve these challenges or do they shut down when put under pressure?

Next, allow your employees to help. They are the ones who will be working with the candidate most of the time, so it would be a good idea to let them participate in the hiring process. Let one or two leaders from your team of employees look at the candidate and give you their assessment. They might have an insight that you might not have. Allowing your employees to take part like this also ensures that the candidate will fit right in when they get hired.

Change Up the Questions

Most candidates will be prepared for standard interview questions; you can expect them to give their best answers to those questions. Once you realize this, you can formulate some challenging questions that are designed to make the candidate think but not hard enough to cripple them.

Some of the questions you can ask include:

  • If you were an animal, what would you be and why? – This question can reveal a lot about a candidate, especially when they give you the reasoning for their answer. Try to see if the answer they give relates to the position they are applying for. For example, you want a lion for sales or a social animal if the candidate will be working with people a lot.
  • What is the biggest misconception people have of you? – This question is meant to show the level of the candidate’s self-awareness. It will show how they come off to people, even if they themselves do not think they come off this way. It could also show how honest they are because they might tell you that the misconceptions people have about them might be true, they are just not aware that they come across this way.
  • What natural strength makes you stand out? – This is a question that is meant to show which of their abilities comes naturally to them.

Try to find candidates who are self-aware and who can give negative answers. If they then ask if there is a right answer, this shows that they can grow, which is a very good quality for a candidate.

Don’t Focus on Their Past Too Much

Yes, it is important to check a candidate’s past, but that may not be who they are today. Focusing on their past should reveal details about how they work with others and their capabilities. It should not be about the skeletons they have in their past unless they are legal skeletons. Also, keep an eye out for potentially insubordinate or violent acts in their past. These are the only things you should be focused on when looking into a candidate’s history.

Instead of hammering them about their past, try to find out about their now. Focus on how they will solve problems and bring value to your company instead.

Add Some Work to the Interview

To get a better sense of how the candidate works, why not work with them for a little while? Let them:

  • Provide solutions to problems
  • Brainstorm new ideas for the company or
  • Do one thing that they would normally do in their job.

Once you see how they work, you will have a better understanding of them and if they can work with others. Try as much as possible to recreate the environment they would be working in on a day to day basis so you can see if they can thrive in that environment.

Would You Work for Them?

If the roles were reversed, would you work for the candidate? There is some self-reflection in this in that the interview process is flipped. If you could see yourself working for that person, then they would be a good fit for your company.

Ask Them About Their Aspirations

Here, do not go with the usual, “Where do you see yourself in five years?” types of questions. Instead, look at their career and not personal goals. Their aspirations will tell you whether the candidate will work diligently for the company or for themselves.

It is also ideal that you think about whether their aspirations fit the aspirations of the company. Ask questions like:

  • Will they grow with the company as it grows?
  • Are their goals aligned with yours and the company’s?

Pay Attention to the Questions They Ask

An interview should not be a question-answer session, it should be a dialogue. Look to see if the candidate can ask thoughtful, engaging questions without prompting. If they do, it shows that they are prepared, engaged and do not rush into things without thinking them through. The way they ask the questions and not just the questions themselves can also tell you a lot about a potential hire.

See If They Have Special Qualities

While their resume might be sitting in front of you, try to see if they have any special qualities that might interest you. For example, did they graduate in a short amount of time? How was their university ranked? Do they have higher than average qualifications from a top-rated university? If they come from a top university such as Kettering and have a top rated MBA, which you can learn more about here, they might be an even better candidate than you thought. These things do not usually show up on a resume, but if you dig further, the candidate could give you more details.

Ask Them What They Are Not Good At

Most interviews are about what the candidate is good at. Why not flip it around and find out what they are not good at. This goes to the larger point of self-awareness. The answers they give you will show if they are ambitious enough to tackle these areas or are complacent enough to be negligent of these areas of themselves.

This is a better question than asking about their weaknesses.

Trust Your Instincts

Your instincts will tell you whether a candidate is a good fit or not. Think about:

  • What your reaction is to the candidate
  • Whether you feel they are the right fit
  • Whether you have a general good feeling about them.

Try not to rationalize why your gut feeling may be wrong because when you do, you might end up hiring the wrong candidate. Try to take logic out of the picture for a few minutes and think about how you feel about the candidate.

Ask Them About Their Expectations

Not a lot of interviewers ask this question, but it can be an indicator of the type of person sitting in front of you. Do they:

  • Expect a lot of work?
  • Expect good working hours?
  • Expect something other employees do not get?

Hiring can be a difficult process. That is, you must sometimes throw the rule book out and carry out an unorthodox interview.

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