Internet TV Businesses

Understanding Why

While interviewing a candidate, it is important to understand why the candidate is interviewing for the position.  While different performance appraisal systems and employee evaluation forms may show that a candidate seems to be everything that your company desires, it is important to look at the candidate’s situation, and check references if they are in a position where they need a job and could be selling themselves well in the interview, without actually possessing the mentality they present in the interview room at the workplace.  To better understand the situations of many candidates, they have been broken down into three common scenarios:

  1. Unemployment – When interviewing unemployed candidates or candidates who have had gaps in employment due to unemployment, you need to find out specific information about the cause (e.g., a layoff, business was sold, forced resignation, etc.). For layoffs, I would recommend getting answers to the following questions: (1) How much of an advance notice did the employer provide? (2) How many people were laid off with you? (3) What was the reason the company gave for the layoff? and (4) How did the company decide who would be laid off? These questions will help you determine whether there was really a company layoff or whether the company agreed to the “layoff” as a form of termination for just this candidate. The unemployed person is a unique candidate especially the longer the period of unemployment because the person may become desperate to find a new job. This desperation will cause some candidates to claim that they are willing to do aspects of a position (e.g. tasks, travel, odd hours, etc.) that they would otherwise not find acceptable or that does not fit their normal behavior. The interviewer needs to be suspicious about such claims. Examples where an interviewer should be suspicious would include:
    1. A seasoned salesperson who has sold products/services primarily on price who claims that he/she can easily switch to selling based on value.
    2. A candidate who is very slow-paced and detailed oriented who will be responsible for operating in a high volume retail outlet where moving clients quickly through checkout is of primary importance.
    3. A candidate who worked in a bureaucratic government position for many years who is now seeking a position in a highly volatile and creative startup company.
    4. A salesperson who is very outgoing and energetic, who had limited responsibility for entering client information into a database, and who in the new job will be required to create detailed quotes and enter detailed information about clients into a customer database.
    5. A candidate who is willing to take a lower paying job and travel farther than he/she has ever traveled, especially in an economy where gas prices are high.
  1. Moving out of a “bad” situation – In this scenario, I have liberally defined “bad” to include the following situations: an obnoxious supervisor, an unethical company, a job-hopper who is now bored with the current job, a candidate who creates personality issues with coworkers, a person who unfortunately had to work with difficult coworkers, a personal situation such as a divorce that may cause someone to want to relocate to a new area, a person seeking a higher paying job, a person seeking better benefits, a person looking for a job closer to home, etc. These situations, as with the unemployed person, need to be explored carefully without delving too deeply into personal issues that are not work-related inquiries, which can potentially cause legal problems if the person does not get the position.
  1. Moving toward an opportunity – This situation is the preferred interview scenario with the caution that the interviewer needs to be sure that the candidate is not seeking an advancement as a way to move out of a bad situation that was created by the candidate. Candidates who are seeking an opportunity should be the individuals who are the most fun to interview because they should be displaying those positive attributes that will cause an employer to think, “Here is the person I want for this job.” If you are interviewing a candidate for an opportunity who is not wowing you with his/her energy for the opportunity and his/her answers to the interview questions, then you need to analyze whether this person is right for the job.

By understanding these positions, it will be clearer as to where a candidate stands for their reasoning in applying for a job.  With a structured interview and constant assessments of traits with the job evaluation process, an understanding of the aforementioned positions will only benefit your company and potentially increase hiring success in the future.

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