Monthly Archives: October 2013

Unmasking Job Candidates

Happy Halloween! During this season of dressing up as your favorite super hero, I can’t help but think about the masks candidates wear when applying and interviewing for a job. When reviewing job applications and interviewing candidates, how do you see through the mask to the real person?

On applications & resumes, applicants usually include at least 3 personal references. These references are always going to be for people that will provide a positive recommendation for the candidate, and many times paint an unclear picture of the candidate. I once interviewed for a job and the hiring manager did some detective work and found some professionals who knew me and also called them. Luckily, I received a positive reference from these unplanned contacts.

In today’s world of social networks, it is super easy to anonymously do a little background check on a potential candidate. Sites like LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter and personal blogs can give you a quick preview of a candidate, not too mention many of these sites will reveal people you may know who also know the candidate. I never interview someone for a job (or interview for a job) without first researching online the people I will be meeting with.

Another important unmasking critical to a successful hire takes place during the interview process. Simply put, has the candidate correctly represented their skills and abilities on the application and/or resume? If possible, I try and have the applicant complete a skill assessment of personality profile. Also, I find it critical to have candidates explain specific times when they used the skills they listed.

Finally, automating the application process can help you unmask applicants. Using software like Ninja Gig allows you to ask custom questions to help filter applicants before you even talk to them. Many times ‘feeler’ questions can help you make a decision quickly. And, with the completed applications being delivered automatically to your email inbox, you can quickly and easily filter potential candidates.