Conducting an interview well is a sign of a great recruiter or hiring manager. But to take it one step further, it’s even more important to know how to identify an awesome, qualified candidate. This can take practice, of course, but with a few of our tips and skills to remember, you’ll be spotting perfect candidates for every position.

Determine what they know about the company

A prepared candidate will have always done their own research and learned about the company prior to arriving at the interview. Be sure to test what they know about the company, as this will prove their interest and dedication to the role. Additionally, according to Indeed, the candidate’s answer can determine their professionalism. They say, “A well-prepared candidate is likely ambitious and committed to developing their career. These traits are sought out in job applicants because they typically signify an individual who will display appropriate, professional and intentional conduct.” 

Ask about their past mistakes and what they’ve learned

No candidate is absolutely perfect. Everyone professional has made mistakes within their career. A good candidate will admit to these past mistakes and elaborate on how they overcame them. Not only is this a sign of honesty, but it proves their proactive nature to solve problems and move forward, which is an considerable trait in any profession. It’s even advisable to provide them with a fictional scenario and ask them to approach or solve it, which will help identify their skills in working independently.  

Take note of the questions they ask

You shouldn’t be the only one asking questions in the interview. Grove HR recommends listening to the questions your candidates ask. They say, “A good candidate will be curious to ask questions and ask the smart questions. They will want to know more about the position, the company, and its goals. Listening to their questions will also let you understand the way they diagnose problems and how they process data.”

Determine their communication methods

The way a candidate communicates will likely translate to their productivity and professionalism in the workplace. Take note of their communication skills during the interview, including their rhetoric, physical stance, eye contact, and rapport. A strong candidate will communicate effectively, while also expressing their excitement and anticipation. However, it’s important to understand that personality and communication should always match the role at hand. Not every position will require the same type of communication. Keep this in mind while conducting your interviews. 

Join our talented recruiters 

Green Key is always hiring! To put these interviewing skills to test, check out our open internal positions and start your recruiting journey today.  

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Green Key
Jun 6, 2023

How to Get Your Co-Workers to Read What You Send

The ugly truth about those memos you send and reports you write is that no one wants to read them.

Don’t take it personally, says Aaron Orendorff. Most of us are overwhelmed with the volume of words that come at us. One estimate is that the average office worker receives almost 100 emails a day. Add in the messages that come in by text, Slack and hard copy and it’s like standing in front of a fire hose.

What can you do to get attention for what you send?

Write less, suggests Orendorff in an article for The New York Times. It’s the most counterintuitive of the eight suggestions he makes, though there’s strong evidence you’ll get more notice if you write only rarely. “Scarcity in professional writing is so, well, scarce that its absence is easier to illustrate than its presence,” he insists.

Before sending off a message, ask yourself, he says, if it must be sent immediately. If not, then ask if it need be sent at all and does it need to be sent to everyone on the To: or CC: lines?

When you must email or message, Orendorff says use fewer words and cut to the chase. “We long for clarity, for other people to say what they mean in as few, short words as possible,” he points out, recommending several methods for getting your point across quickly:

  • Put action words in your subject line — Instead of “Budget Attached,” write, “APPROVAL FOR ITEMS 9-12: Budget Attached.”
  • Don’t tell, ask — Instead of describing in detail your analysis or view of an issue, ask questions; the more pointed and clear the better.
  • Lead with the need — Say what you need. get to the point at the beginning of your memo or email or message. “Rather than building to the request — and risk muddling the meaning — this inversion forces us to lead with the need. After that, you’ll often find much of the rest can be removed.”
  • Make it about “us” — “When seeking assistance or buy-in, we typically ask colleagues for their ‘opinion.’ Turns out, that’s a mistake. Asking for an opinion produces a critic,” Orendorff explains. You’ll get better results if you can make it about “we.”
  • Write a people-proof TL;DR — The snarky expression “TL;DR” meaning “too long; didn’t read” is used to summarize an overly long memo or note. Orendorff suggests hijacking it as your own summary of who is to do what by when. “If the TL;DR clearly summarizes everything, send only the TL;DR.”

Taking to heart every one of Orendorff’s suggestions is no guarantee everyone will want to read what you write. At the very least, he says we can “make it easy on our colleagues to read it, respond to it and take action.”

Image by Muhammad Ribkhan


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Green Key