Screening, Assessment, Interviewing

Is It Love?

There’s no denying the spark. Your eyes lock – yes, lock – and it seems that neither of you wants to be the first to look away. The conversation flows easily – oh so easily; within half an hour, you’re finishing each other’s sentences. And the laughter. The spontaneous, mutual laughter. You’re convinced you’ve found the one.

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But is the job candidate really right for . . . your company?

Assessing Your Reaction

Clicking with someone immediately is rare, so when it happens it can feel like fate. But while you and the candidate may have chemistry, it’s essential that you determine if the candidate is a fit for the job and the company.

This can be difficult to do if the voice inside your head is telling you how wonderful the person is.

Yet, that’s when it’s especially important to second-guess yourself and dive deeper . . . into reality.

Where to Focus

Resist the temptation to continue the conversation along the same lines. Instead, adopt a more professional stance, with attention to interviewing basics.

Determine what you still need to know about the person, from the standpoint of work experience, past job performance, skills, career goals, and so forth. Then, ask questions that will provide you with this information.

Even though you’ve already established a rapport with the candidate, you want to know how the sparkling personality on display in the interview translates to the workplace. To find out, be sure to ask questions related to working with others – in teams, and as a manager, if applicable. Also ask about difficult work situations, and tough bosses. Likewise, you want to know how the candidate responds to coaching—and criticism.

Beyond Personality

Your objective is to move beyond personality – and even discount it, at least temporarily – in favor of substance.

One of the reasons you want to do this is because you could be under the spell of a charmer.

You may have come across a charmer or two in your personal life.

When you first meet a charmer, the individual exudes such sparkle that you immediately feel good just being around him or her. Nevertheless, although you may initially be blinded by the light, you later learn what lies beneath the charming exterior . . . sometimes to your surprise.

The same can hold true when the charmer is a job candidate.

Arriving at a Decision

If, after switching gears, and obtaining answers to your in-depth questions, you are still dazzled by the candidate, get another opinion.

Ask a colleague for assistance, and be open about your concerns. “The candidate seems perfect, almost too perfect. I could really use a second opinion. Are you available for an interview?”

A colleague’s perspective will help you determine if it’s love, or just infatuation.

Paula Paula Santonocito, Contributing Editor for Recruiting Daily Advisor, is a business journalist specializing in employment issues. She is the author of more than 1,000 articles on a wide range of human resource and career topics, with an emphasis on recruiting and hiring. Her articles have been featured in many global and domestic publications and information outlets, referenced in academic and legal publications as well as books, and translated into several languages.