5 Little Things That Can Tell You A Lot About a Candidate

5 Little Things That Can Tell You A Lot About a Candidate

We hear from numerous studies that interviews are not a valid indicator for an ideal match between candidate and job. We agree with many of these sentiments, it should be the interview, with an assessment, background checks and references to help you make that final hiring decision. But in the interview and around the screening process you can find 5 little things that will tell you a lot about a candidate …

1.    How they keep their commitments

Is the candidate early, on time or late for interviews? If the candidate came through an agency, they would have had at least 1 other interview before yours. Check if they were on time then.

When they say they will email you by 1pm – do they? We often do this in assessments just to check how on time a candidate is and true to their word. If you start to notice a pattern where someone fails to follow through, or changes their plans. It can reveal someone who is not reliable, does not hold themselves accountable for the things they say, or doesn’t value the current role.

2.    How they treat people below them

This test is often used when you take a final candidate to a coffee shop or restaurant before offering them a job. This is a test to see how they treat waiters and waitresses. It is how they treat others and, in an article, written by Yeung ‘think the bigger picture is how people treat those who can do absolutely nothing for them or to them’.

This old test is done on many executives and leader type roles and still stands true. What does their actions say about their values and culture fit? Asking the question how you treat people does not always answer true to their actions.

3.    Look inside their car

In the same article by Yeung, he mentions chatting to a surgeon who interviewed new doctors. And he wanted to go and look inside their car before hiring them. It was not to judge the type of car but to look inside and see if it was clean and organised, or chaotic and disorganized.

It was previously said in a study that someone’s desk is a copy of how organised they are. So, if you are looking for an administrator and need organisation skills, maybe ask them for a lift in their car?

4.    How their house looks

Now days with Covid we get a peak at people’s home through virtual calls. Malcolm Gladwell ran a study where the personality of 80 students was assessed by those students’ closest friends versus complete strangers who only spent 15 minutes visiting their bedrooms.

The complete strangers were more accurate than the close friends.

“What this suggests is that it is quite possible for people who have never met us and who have spent only twenty minutes thinking about us to come to a better understanding of who we are than people who have known us for years… If you want to get a good idea of whether I’d make a good employee, drop by my house one day and take a look around.”

—Malcolm Gladwell – to watch some videos (https://www.ted.com/speakers/malcolm_gladwell)

5.    How they act when they make a mistake

Everyone makes mistakes, its how you handle them that shows your character. Do they apologize? Make an excuse? Or blame it on something or someone?

How a person responds to their mistakes, shows their character and let’s be real they going to make a mistake in your business, rather know early on how they will handle it.

Interviews are difficult to always ensure you have the right candidate, we hope some of these small little things can help you make the right decision next time for your team.

*Sasha Knott if the current MD of Job Crystal, having previously hired over 500 staff for her own previous businesses and manages thousands of candidates and clients finding jobs through Job Crystal, an online and offline recruitment business based in South Africa. For more information www.jobcrystal.co.za for background checks all automated online