Hiring can be very stressful. The balance of selecting the correct candidate is tough. Occasionally, you have equal candidates and it comes down to a judgment call. Then you have those decisions that are no brainers. We have to be politically correct and with federal laws the way they are, being honest is risky. Don’t you wish you could say, “Well, you didn’t get the job because you seem like a liar, and a pain in the butt. If it doesn’t work out I couldn’t fire you right away because you wouldn’t cry foul, and I’d have to take time to build a solid case before I can purge my organization of your corrosive energy.” Recently, a client of mine called me, and told me he was having a conversation with a hiring manager, that told him, they look for nice people more than anything. The reason being, the manager told him, we can train nice people, you can’t train a jerk. Honesty works with best friends, not so much with applicants.
Here are some tips to help you make a decision that doesn’t violate Title VII, Civil Rights Act of 1964. Have standardized interview questions that are relevant to the essential job functions of the position you are trying to fill. Establish a set of questions which with desired responses that are assigned a weighted value (measured). This way you can measure the effectiveness of the responses provided by the applicant. I understand that as a hiring manager you want to try to make sure you are getting people that are responsible and accountable. And granted some folks can pretend and put on a great front in the interview process. When most people are being interviewed they are nervous and may go off the grid. That just means you have to be creative in your questioning.
Creative does not equal confrontational, offensive, disrespectful, or nasty. Situational questions are really good at determining the character and decision making of an applicant. Situation questions are like, “Tell me about a time when you…” or “How would you handle this potential problem…” Seems basic, but a lot of folks don’t know. I find it interesting that some people talk about their children, health conditions or recreational drug use in an interview. Here’s a true one, when asked in an interview, why should I hire you? Applicant responds, “Man I got 4 kids, I need this job.” Understandable but most applicants have children and that is not a legal reason to hire or fire someone. So be careful navigating the landmine of candidate rejection. You can have the purest intention and try to help someone but basically they won’t hear the advice, only the rejection.
Don’t believe me, read this!