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How to avoid falling for the wrong candidate?

17 Feb 2017

How to avoid falling for the wrong candidate?

The first encounter between two individuals can be a deciding factor in how the relationship will progress. Factors like countenance, posture, attire, eloquence, can influence the perception of the individuals.

First impressions have a significant impact on interviews, but these impressions are often subjective, based on the personal biases and judgments of the interviewer.

Lead by the image portrayed by the candidate, recruiters are prone to steer the interaction away from objective probing and jump to conclusions, forgetting the essential long-term compatibility between the company and the candidate.

So how do we bypass these first impressions and avoid falling for the wrong candidate? Here are our 4 tips:

1. Keep your feet on the ground

Our emotions are important in our decision-making, but they must not override our critical thinking. Do not let yourself be impressed by the ease of a candidate; their skills are not necessarily the ones you seek, and most of the candidates master the art of seduction. The basis of naivety is to let ones judgment be influenced by emotion.

Try to go one step further and check the coherence of their speech with their accomplishments. For example, ask them to tell you about their last managed project and what the difficulties were.

2. Do not bury your head in the sand

Do not favor information just because it confirms your preconceived ideas or assumptions. This confirmation bias will distort your appreciation of the candidate's qualities, and even your perception of their defects.

In order to process the information properly, prepare your questions beforehand and avoid influencing the candidate. A well-prepared interview will encourage the candidate to give genuine rather than repeated answers. The use of role play will also demonstrate how a person acts under pressure.

In addition, using a personality test is a good way to enrich your interviews and acquire further knowledge of the candidate. This will also allow you to compare differences between several individuals within their common characteristics.

3. Down with stereotypes!

Whether it is education, gender, age, social category or marital status, we are all shaped by the same stereotypes.

To avoid these unconscious stereotypical representations, the recruiter must maintain a well-structured recruitment process, so as to keep in mind the important factors to be taken into account such as personality, motivations, skills or adequacy within the culture of the company.

To reinforce the predictability of your recruitment, the use of psychometric tests will allow you to look beyond the resume, experience or good presentation of the candidate. They will give you objective clues to facilitate your decision-making in a non-discriminatory way.

4. Do not look for someone like you

Your natural tendency will push you to choose a candidate who shares your values, motivations or psychological states. To avoid this projection bias, draw up the profile of the candidate you are looking for before the interview. Ask yourself the right questions: "What will be the level of responsibility of the candidate? Will he have to supervise staff? What types of projects would he have to manage? This will help you be sure of which personality traits and skills you expect of your future candidates.

However, finding someone like you could be a good thing. A candidate who completes you and fits your company culture is even better!

Decision-making is the major challenge for recruiters. It is necessary to know how to detach oneself from unconscious signals, and find the perfect balance that leads to a happy long-term relationship.


Maxime Béligon-Escafit
Communications Executive, Central Test