Interview Traps for Recruiters by Recruiters
Making it to the interview is often seen as a buyer’s market, where all the power lies with the employer. But, according to a recent LinkedIn article by Jordan Burton, recruiters may be self-sabotaging in a seemingly innocuous way. Find out how asking about an applicant’s interest in your company doesn’t give you the information you think it does below.
What You’re Really Asking
According to Burton, what begins innocently with “Jordan, why are you interested in our company (or this role)?” is intended to discover an applicant’s interest in your company. This is natural. Beyond interviewing to find intangibles not listed in the resume, it’s also a good opportunity to measure someone’s ambition for getting the job done. But according to Burton, this common question gives you anything but the answer you hoped to find.
What Answer You’re Really Getting
What are you really learning when you ask what an applicant’s interest in the company is? Burton answers, “Give me your job description, 30 minutes, and a good internet connection, and prepare to be dazzled . . .I will thoroughly review your website’s job description, “About” page, and a few blog posts or case studies. I might even search YouTube for videos of your CEO speaking about your company. When this question inevitably comes, I will weave a glorious web of BS that will entrance you. In your haste to fill this painful vacancy, you will feel butterflies! What happens next? You will probably do what all humans do: You will form a positive hypothesis about me, and you will spend the rest of the interview seeking to confirm that hypothesis. In your team debrief, you will convince your colleagues that I have the sheer motivation and passion to overcome my many, many flaws and skill gaps. End result? You will hire me, and I will disappoint you.”
A Better Way
So how do you avoid the trap set by this common interview question? Burton concludes with sage advice. “Lower-performing, desperate job seekers will spend hours crafting their message. High-performing passive candidates won’t have the time. Charismatic-but-flawed extroverts will wow you. Talented introverts won’t deliver as good a “performance.”
Bottom line, when you ask this question, what you’re really learning is how well the candidate prepped for the interview. You are likely to come away with a highly skewed perspective of their true motivations. “But wait — how will we know if our opportunity really matches a candidate’s motivations?” Learn about their prior roles. What led them to take each one and leave each one? Which roles and environments did they thrive in, and which ones were a struggle? Do this from a place of curiosity and fascination, and you will build a far clearer picture of their truth.”
With so many changes in the modern job market, why not add a fundamental rethink to common interview questions? A little more time spent on the recruiting side exploring a candidate’s background can payoff when you get to skip buyer’s remorse from hiring someone who is ultimately disappointing or a bad fit.
Trent Lyons is a Technical Recruitment Lead at Business Centric Technology. If you are interested in learning more about how to get the best IT talent in the Dallas metroplex, contact Trent, who specializes in recruiting IT talent in Dallas, Ft. Worth, and North Texas. If you are looking for a rewarding career, contact us today.