How to Identify the Right Candidate in Under One Hour

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Abraham Lincoln quote

In this crazy, fast-paced world we live in today, we want things done fast, cheap and good. It is no different in the recruiting and hiring world.

Most HR Professionals and Hiring Managers I have encountered have asked me this question: “How can I determine if the candidate is the right person for me when I have only one hour to interview the candidate?”

It is a fair question considering the tight time constraints and pressures HR and hiring managers are working under to find and fill vacant positions.


Here are five things you can do to help you determine if the candidate is the right one for you – even if you only have one hour to interview the candidate:

1. Clarity

The most important thing you need to have prior to interviewing any candidate is CLARITY.

As the hiring manager, ask yourself the following questions:

  • Why are we hiring for this position?
  • What do we need this position to accomplish within the first three months, six months, and twelve months on the job?
  • What are five things this person must have in order to be successful in this position (critical success factors)?

Asking these question will help you focus on those things that are most important and would likely result in finding the RIGHT candidate for your organization.

Prior preparation must be done before you meet with your candidate.


2. Prepare Your Questions

Once you are clear on the top 5 critical success factors, use them to guide you in creating your interview questions, using The ADC Technique™.

Creating your questions using The ADC Technique™ will help ensure you come up with highly relevant interview questions that are tightly bound to the attributes or the critical success factors you have identified in the previous step.

Because you have only one hour for the interview, having highly relevant questions to ask your candidate is vitally important. The questions you come up with using The ADC Technique™ will ensure you remain laser-focused on what you need to find out about the candidate.


3. Don’t Go At It Alone

If you have only one hour for the interview, don’t do it alone. Invite your peers to sit in on the interview and utilise the power of Panel Interviewing.

It is a general misconception that Panel Interviewing requires more time to execute.

Panel interviewing will take more time if you and your fellow interviewers on the panel are not well prepared for it and are not well coordinated. Individual roles need to be spelt out clearly, so that you and your fellow interviewers do not end up asking questions over one another.

When Panel Interviews are well-planned and well-coordinated, Panel Interviews can be highly efficient and effective in assessing, identifying and picking the right candidate, within a very short time.


4. Score the Candidate

To help you effectively decide if a candidate is the right choice or not, prepare a simple checklist.

A checklist can be of tremendous help and can produce pretty accurate results in predicting candidate fit.

One way to do a simple checklist is to build on the table you have created using The ADC Technique™. All you need to do is add an additional column to the right and score each attribute from 1 to 5.

At the end of the interview session, compute the average score by aggregating the scores from each of the panel interviewers.


5. Pick the Right Interviewers for your Panel

If you want your interview to be highly focused and highly efficient, you need to pick the right interviewers for your panel.

Because you only have one hour to determine if a candidate is the right one for you, it is vital to include only interviewers who have a very good track record in selecting and hiring the right people.

If you wish to be able to pick the right candidate within a very short time, you will need to be very well prepared prior to meeting with the candidate. It would be a grave mistake to think that you will be able to pull it off without the necessary preparation.

As Abraham Lincoln said:

“Give me six hours to chop down a tree and I will spend the first four sharpening the axe.???

What will you do the next time you have only one hour to interview your candidate?

Will you meet with the candidate unprepared?
Or will you prepare yourself first before meeting with the candidate?

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January 20, 2015

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