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Choosing the perfect candidate for the job | Zoek Job Site

The interviewing process is almost complete, and you’ve narrowed it down to the last couple of candidates. If you’re lucky you may have a clear winner, however, it’s just as likely that you have a tough decision on your hands with two or even more candidates making the grade.

The question is how do you make that final selection?

When it comes to shortlisting candidates, you may need to schedule another interview designed, but at the same time, you need to be aware that any delay in making a decision could cost you a good employee. Almost half of all job offers are declined due to candidates accepting other offers, so while that might solve your problem for you, there’s no guarantee that other candidates will still be available if you take too long over your decision.

Tough choices

However, when filling vacancies, in order to make the right decision for the company, you need to find a way to allow each of the final candidates to demonstrate key attributes or skills for the role. The best way to go about this is to call an urgent meeting with other decision-makers, re-evaluate candidates’ skills, the role and interviews to date.

Review the interviews and examine the procedures used when it came to candidate assessment.  Ask everyone, on reflection, what could have been done better? And how can a final interview or test be formulated in order to select the perfect candidate? It’s possible that, as a result of this meeting you may be able to make a decision without an additional interview. If not, then you might have to arrange another appointment or testing procedure with the final candidates.

Look at key criteria

This means homing in on the key skills and traits you think are required for the role. Also think about the key tasks you want completed in the first six months - By asking the candidates how they intend to meet these challenges may give you the information you need to make your final selection. Pay close attention not only to answers given by candidates, but the questions they ask as this can say a lot about their problem-solving ability and initiative, not to mention their motivations for joining the company.

When recruiting, to avoid another interview, you could set the final candidates a problem to solve to assess specific behavioural trait. Essentially, allow them to ‘audition’ for the role. If you’re recruiting a designer for example, get them to create a landing page, or, if it’s a sales person, ask them to pitch to you. This is also a good way to discover how badly they want the role. However, this isn’t something you should do at the start of the recruitment process, as you may scare off potentially great candidates. Make sure they know that it’s the final stages of the selection process and that this test could secure the role.

Meanwhile, you can revisit their CV and look at similar challenges they’ve faced in the past. Ask how they tackled them, how successful they were and what, if anything, they learnt from any failures in the past.

And if you have to schedule that final interview…

If you do have to do another interview, make sure it’s structured differently to get new insights into candidates. One way of whittling down the final few candidates is to take them out of the interview scenario completely, perhaps to lunch, where you can get a good picture of their personality without the formalities of an actual interview. Observe how they interact with other people, such as waiting staff, and how react to any problems with service. Take another team member with you who wasn’t part of the interview process to get a second opinion on the candidate.

Finally, when filling vacancies, look at previous hires. What can you learn from previous recruitment strategies? What would you have done differently? This is all about getting the perfect candidate for the job, so use every means available to you to make the final decision. And don’t forget to keep in touch with the candidate you don’t hire, as you may need to contact them again if things don’t work out with your selection.

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