Tracking Professional and Personal past of the job applicant?

‘No one is so transparent to tell you everything when they turn up for the interview. The CVs do not necessarily talk only the truth and even if they do – it is not the complete picture of the job applicant!’

Interviewing skills play a major role in right recruitment – Check references. Ask specific questions when you do. The dates might match up and the job description is probably accurate, but what about the candidate’s performance on the job and relationship skills with co-workers? There are ways you can phrase these questions so that they won’t seem overly personal. The answers are critical to whether or not you hire the candidate, right? Ask what your job applicant tracking said about this person you are interviewing i.e., in case you have an applicant tracking system (ATS) software in place asking the right questions to eliminate those who do not qualify!

Truth comes out when the person is relaxed and feels he or she is among friends. If you’re looking for full disclosure in an interview, create a relaxed atmosphere in your interview room that will make candidates feel more comfortable. Especially in telephonic interviews, the time is short as well as impersonal and there is more of a tendency by the applicant to lie – but, experience teaches one well – and he or she can identify the ‘wrongs’ well in advance. Some applicants are high-handed while some are timid – both of these behavior styles are misleading the interviewer from the truth. The major problem is solved if the interviewing is done well and good over the phone though i do not say the process gets completed at this stage itself.

Perspective of the interviewer matters a lot to arrive at a right conclusion. HR person would look more for personality traits and stability while the line manager may knowingly limit himself to examine performance potential, product knowledge, general awareness level of the market opportunities and competition, will to succeed etc. I do not declare one is right while the other is wrong! One has to relate with the demands of the current assignment – Do you need a performer or just stable ‘mediocre’ 9 to 5 guy?? Do you really need a risk taker, innovative, enthusiastic person? Can you or will your management or organization tolerate a ‘maverick’ performer?

Personal past matters too – we all know that ‘old habits die hard’ and so, it is necessary to confirm personal integrity, behavior pattern, lack of soft skills of the job applicant – I recollect, one of my clients rejected a ‘promising’ applicant because he is from a broken home. I was just told that he wants applicants from happy homes. Though I could not necessarily agree with him but the client decides here or he alone can appoint! I know of a colleague of mine in the past – he was ‘slightly’ a drug addict and would fall asleep in the important meetings. And, he was a kleptomaniac too and the company got really embarrassed because he stole a customer’s watch during a visit to his office, causing ‘sufficient’ damage to the image of the company (sic!). Yes, stability matters – even a brilliant applicant cannot be considered if he is ‘too frequent’ a job-hopper. Personal values play a role and we cannot recruit those who are very poor in their personal value system – for eg., a womanizer or a loose values based woman – is not respected particularly if he or she has the potential of causing disturbance within the office atmosphere. Even well performing CEOs get sacked for such behavior.

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