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(916) 569-1500


As stressful as it is for a candidate to interview, it can be equally difficult as the interviewer. Studies have shown the average interviewer takes less than 3 minutes to make their decision. This suggests that most interviewers are basing their decision on visual stimuli and gut instinct. It is also possible the interviewer has already formed their opinion (perhaps from the resume/reference) and is looking to confirm or deny the assertion. We agree that a person’s polish and presentation are important factors of qualifying a candidate; however, it is incredibly important to verify the candidate doesn’t just look good but is also qualified with solid values that match your firm’s.

One thing to consider is that some of the best interviewers are the worst employees. It is always shocking to see veteran hiring authorities wooed into hiring the 1 year job hopper. We have all seen the resume with the candidate changing jobs ever year or so, “but they are perfect for the job, and they went to a great college.” Instead of recognizing the trend, we interview the person, and are shocked at how polished and professional the candidate presents. They explain all the reasons they had to change positions in the past and why of course this wouldn’t happen again, and we believe them. On the other hand, there is the loyal candidate who has been in their position for over 10 years and this is their first interview in that decade; their voice trembles, palms are sweaty and they seem very uncomfortable. Can you see how 3 minutes may not give the full picture?

When hiring, consider your best employee. What are the qualities that they exemplify? What makes them better than others? A few qualities that often go overlooked include: self-accountability, a positive attitude, a hunger to learn, and a high level of poise under pressure.

A few questions that reveal vital information include:

1. Ask about their biggest career mistake and listen. Do they blame others or do they own it and show that they have learned from the mishap?(self-accountability)

2. List out the top priorities of the position, and identify the most critical skill sets to accomplish these feats. Now ask questions about competency around those skill sets. (Are they qualified?)

3. How do you like to be managed?

4. Describe the worst manager you have ever worked with?

5. Where would you like to be in 5 years, in terms of your career?

6. If you could change anything about your career, what would you do differently?

7. What do you think it takes for a company to be successful? (Do their values match your firms?)

8. What do you currently enjoy most about your role?

9. What types of projects do you enjoy working on?

10. If you could change your current role, what would you change?