Welcome to the club. You are not the first and you will not be the last. Believe me. But here is the catch, the Recruitment Catch 22. Ever thought about the times where you did not hire the people that you should have hired. Read that sentence again. Same same but different.

We always talk about the impact a wrong hire has on the organisation, and what went wrong in the assessment when you end up with a dead beat that you shouldn’t have employed in the first place. But is it not equally a miss in the assessment when you let go of great candidates that would have made the difference in your business?

The mistake comes down to one thing, i.e. when you score presentation over performance. We are only human beings and when we meet a 4-A candidate we are all in trouble. Unless you are aware of the 4-A phenomenon and trained not to be influenced by it. The 4-A candidate is Articulate, Assertive, Attractive, Affable… and when s/he comes with a decent resume you can’t believe your luck.

Perhaps you are months into a search for that key position. The talent you have been waiting for is finally in front of you. Now this is what happens to all of us. Instead of being even tougher in your questioning, instead of probing into every corner of the candidate’s achievements, you use the rest of the interview to ask the right questions that will build your case of recommending the individual for the job. This is wrong.

 To avoid being framed by the well-thought-out dance of the articulate, assertive, attractive, and affable candidate here is what you need to do. Asking the right questions requires knowing first what you are looking for. That starts with asking the line manager about key competencies required. Competencies are defined as the total of skills, knowledge, experience, attributes, and behaviours that an individual needs to perform a job effectively.

Ask the hiring manager what the top three challenges are in the position? What does the person need to deliver to be successful? Why will a person in a good job, working somewhere else right now, want this job?      

There are many different types of interviewing techniques. If you want to do like the pro’s in recruitment, try to Google behaviour-based interviewing technique. In short, this technique is based on the theory that past behaviour is the best predictor of future behaviour. You heard about leopards that don’t change their spots? OK, you got it.