The recruitment interview process is notoriously artificial. We know this, because no one on Planet Earth is passionate about becoming a retail store attendant, or rather, if given the opportunity, they would opt for something else. They might be content to gain that job, and be grateful for it, but they would never make it their life’s ambition. And yet in order to get the job, they have to tell you that this is something they are extremely enthusiastic to do, that is is something they have thought about for years, or that it will help them truly contribute to brand X.

We know that it’s not quite truthful, but we go along with it anyway. They have checked the box for now. 

Due to the artificial nature of job interviews, it can often lead to candidates presenting a caricature of themselves as a dream professional, rather than being honest with you in the ways that matter. This can, in some instances, prevent you from finding candidates who are not suitable, or worse, outright bad for the job. A bad hire can cost you untold thousands in training, and sometimes even more when it comes to liability claims, or the damage to your business reputation they may cause.

They say an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure, and we would say in this case, that goes double. Let us direct you to this end:

Vet Their Story

It might be that an applicant is telling you of all the excellent achievements they managed to foster at a previous role, to the point where it seems somewhat overstated. It could be that vetting them by contacting their previous managers leads you to the real story. On top of that, asking to see their qualifications or contacting their educational institutions could be important. It might be that despite telling you they have a first class honors in a certain subject, they actually dropped out before graduating, and seem somewhat sheepish when asked for the official documentation.

All of this can make a real difference, and so it pays to be discerning and open to what the realistic options could be here. Most of the time things will come back completely clean, but if it stops one bad candidate in one hundred from working in your firm, it’s worth it.

Test Their Skills

They may claim to have the best IQ, to have worked in the best management role or to have gotten perfect results from their educational courses, but testing how their practical knowledge works can be effective here. Understanding ‘what is a psychometric test in recruitment’ can often help you learn more about the applied skills of a certain candidate. It will be very hard to fool this test, which is why it’s a favorite of many divisions of the military.

Talk To Them

Ask them a little about their CV, their personal life, and see if the items match up. It’s unlikely you have Frank Abagnale sat before you. If they are lying, or they feel a little less sincere than they could be, ask more leading questions. Do not give anyone the benefit of the doubt, because you’ll be making an investment in them. Instead, simply ask them things that come to mind, while being respectful. When you slowly unearth someone’s character over a multi-stage interview process, you’ll become accustomed to knowing who is sincere and who isn’t.

With this advice, we hope you can further avoid hiring bad candidates.

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