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How to hire winners: 6 traps to avoid (part 2)

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Last month, we discussed how to streamline the hiring process. Now, let’s take a look how much importance should be placed on the actual interview and the personality of the interviewee.

Trap 2: How much of the hiring decision is based on how well you interview?
Take a guess. Is it 80 percent or 90 percent? Would you believe 2 percent? According to a University of Michigan study, face-to-face or even telephone interviewing can increase your chances of picking winners by only about 2 percent.

This is because most candidates are more experienced at interviewing than you are. This is also due to the sheer numbers of interviews they participate in. The ironic thing is, the worse the candidate, the more practice they may get at interviewing.

Another reason is most managers judge candidates based on their personality instead of job skills. I have made that mistake many times. I have interviewed people on the phone. If they sound like they can put a few sentences together without major mistakes, I will see them face-to-face. If they then seem enthusiastic, and act experienced in the areas I want them to perform, I am tempted to hire. But I won’t and you shouldn’t.

You should pull together written questions ahead of time and write down the correct answers. Then weight the questions as to their importance from one to 10. You then need to jot down the candidate’s answers and score them on a one-to-10 scale as to the appropriateness. After the interview, multiply the weight by the number value of the answer. The top scorer wins that round.

Trap 3: How much importance do you put on a good personality?
According to many industrialpsychologists, personality isn’t significant in determining the success of applicants. The real bottom line is, can the candidate deal with other people?

According to one Harvard study, more people get fired because of personality conflicts than poor job skills. If you are hiring a salesperson or customer service rep, know the answers to these questions:

1) Do they know how to close, answer objections and prospect?

2) Does the applicant have call reluctance? Can they cope with 10 rude people who tell them never to call again and still make one more call? It’s hard to test for call reluctance. But it’s the determining factor between those who stop prospecting after a few no’s and those who persevere to success.