Last updated: October 19, 2020
If only hiring was as easy as reading applications and fitting people with the right skills into the right positions. Life doesn’t work that way and neither does the hiring process. The managers hiring people need to know more than the contents of a resume in order to make the right decisions for the company.
Does this candidate really have the skills they say they do?
It’s probably one of the most difficult questions about to answer and even an interview can’t always reveal the truth. A manager needs someone that can do the job, not just fill in requirement blanks.
A good resume points out bullet points that serve as an interview guide, but in that interview it’s the candidate’s job to show the skills they listed as having learned can apply to the new job. Hiring managers want to know if the person being considered can make the connection between past experience and the open position. The resume and interview together show not just what has already been accomplished in the past, but what’s possible for the new organization in the future.
How much of a risk am I taking with this candidate?
In many senses, hiring managers are also risk managers. They want to reduce the amount of risk as much as possible with each potential hire. This is where background checks and pre-employment drug screening usually come in handy. They wish they knew for sure that the risk was zero with the candidate being considered.
Each new employee changes the dynamic of the workplace, even if only slightly. With pre-employment screening, hiring managers are able to figure out if the change will be more dramatic. Sometimes there are additional measures in place after the hire, but having practices in place before the hire is extremely important to maintaining the morale of the workforce.
Will this candidate fit in with other employees?
Hiring managers aren’t looking to make friends, but they do want the workplace to stay a friendly environment. A person doesn’t need to make lifelong friendships in the workplace to fit in, but each employee is part of a team. Team building requires people willing to work together. While it’s not something that can truly be determined through reading a resume, the interview process usually reveals through questions about hobbies, team building exercises, leadership and management experiences, and the less tangible but no less important nonverbal cues picked up by the interviewer.
Will this candidate commit to the company?
Another difficult thing to determine can be the depths of dedication a prospective employee will have for the company. Will this be a short term job or a career? In an interview situation, a manager tries to find this out by asing “where do you see yourself in five years?” Maybe it’s two years…or ten. The response says a lot about attitude and can be an indicator of loyalty.
Employees that can’t explain a long-term plan might be looking at the position as a stepping stone — or worse, not have long-term plans for themselves at all. Being able to envision and share realistic goals and show that you’re willing to put in time before expecting a promotion shows character and the capability for commitment to the company cause.
The interview is one of the first places a hiring manager can get to know the person behind the page and it’s why brushing up on interpersonal skills can be one of the best ways to put a best foot forward in the hiring process. Managers wish they knew everything about everyone before hiring, but they can’t, so they’ll settle for as much as they can before hiring anyone.