How to select the best candidates – and avoid the worst
Investing thousands of pounds in the recruitment and training of each new graduate recruit may be just the beginning. Choosing the wrong candidate may leave an organization paying for years to come.
Few companies will have escaped all of the following failures: people who panic at the first sign of stress; those with long, impressive qualifications who seem incapable of learning; hypochondriacs whose absentee record becomes astonishing; and the unstable person later discovered to be a thief or worse.
Less dramatic, but just as much a problem, is the person who simply doesn’t come up to expectations, who doesn’t quite deliver; who never becomes a high-flyer or even a steady performer; the employees with a fine future behind them.
The first point to bear in mind at the recruitment stage is that people don’t change. Intelligence levels decline modestly, but change little over their working life. The same is true of abilities, such as learning languages and handling numbers.
Most people like to think that personality can change, particularly the more negative features such an anxiety, low esteem, impulsiveness or a lack of emotional warmth. But data collected over 50 years gives a clear message: still stable after all these years. Extroverts become slightly less extroverted; the acutely shy appear a little less so, but the fundamentals remain much the same. Personal crises can affect the way we cope with things: we might take up or drop drink, drugs, religion or relaxation techniques, which can have pretty dramatic effects. Skills can be improved, and new ones introduced, but at rather different rates. People can be groomed for a job. Just as politicians are carefully repackaged through dress, hairstyle and speech specialists, so people can be sent on training courses, diplomas or experimental weekends. But there is a cost to all this which may be more than the price of the course. Better to select for what you actually see rather than attempt to change it.
1. Answer the following questions:
a) What types of failures do companies experience, according to the article?
b) What does a fine future behind them mean?
c) What advice does the article give to managers?
1. Read the following extract about interviewing.
There are different kinds of interviews:
1) traditional one-to-one / individual interviews;
2) panel interviews where one or more candidates are interviewed by a panel of interviewers;
3) «deep end» interviews where applicants have to demonstrate how they cope in actual business situations.
Regardless of the kind every interview proceeds through 3 stages:
1) the warm-up;
2) the question-and-answer session;
3) the close.
The warm-up. Of the three stages, the warm-up is the most important although it may account for only a small fraction of the time you spend in the interview. Psychologists say that 50% of the interviewer’s decision is made within the first 30 to 60 seconds and another 25% is made within 15 minutes.
Body language is also important at this point because you won’t have time to say much in the first minute. You must sell yourself nonverbally.
The question-and-answer session.Questions and answers consume thegreatest part of the interview. During this phase the interviewer asks you to restate your qualifications and expand on the points in the CV. You will be also asked whether you have any questions of your own.
Remember that the interviewer will be observing you and noting every word you say, that’s why don’t limit yourself to yes or no answers and pause to think before responding if you are asked a difficult question.
Another way you can reach your goal is to ask some right questions. If you periodically ask a question or two, you won’t only learn something but demonstrate your interest as well. It’s especially useful to probe for what the company is looking for in its new employees. Once you know that, you can show how you meet the firm’s needs.
The close.This is the last phase of the interview but not less important than the first two. If the interviewer has any reservations about hiring you – perhaps he has cited your lack of public-speaking experience or limited computer knowledge – address these concerns directly: «I agree that delivering powerful presentations is critical for my successful work and accordingly for the success of the company and I intend to join a special course in public-speaking». If you see that the interviewer is about to finish the procedure, don’t prolong it yourself and just express your gratitude for the interviewer’s time and consideration.
2. Scan the text again to answer the following questions:
a) What stages does every interview proceed?
b) Why is the warm-up considered to be the most important stage?
c) What is the role of body language at the interviewer?
d) What advice can be given to the interviewee at the question-and-answer stage?
e) How to behave during the close?
1. Scan the following guidelines and be ready to give some tips to your friend who is going to his/her first interview.
An interview, like any other interpersonal relationship, requires the cooperation, skill, and commitment of both participants in order to be effective. Both interviewees and interviewers can benefit from the following guidelines:
1. Be prepared. Understand the purpose of the interview; plan or anticipate the questions you will ask and be asked; understand your goals; and be able to communicate those goals clearly.
2. Practice sending and receiving messages. By its very nature, an interview demands skills at sending and receiving verbal and nonverbal messages.
3.Demonstrate effective listening skills. Problems occur in interviews when either the interviewer or the interviewee fails to listen closely to what the other is saying. If participants listen carefully, the interview has a better chance of being productive.
4.Have conviction. Ask and answer questions and express your opinions with enthusiasm. If you aren’t excited by your ideas, skills, and abilities, why should anyone else be?
5. Be flexible. Don’t memorize statements. Think things through thoroughly, but be prepared for questions or answers you didn’t anticipate. Be able to adjust to the other person’s style and pace.
6. Be observant. Pay attention to the nonverbal signals sent to you and by you. Be sure that the signals you send are positive, not negative. Give the other person your total attention.
7.Consider. Both the interviewer and interviewee need to consider the ramifications of a job offer. Be sure that your choice is one you and the organization can both live with.