11/11/2014

By Helen Ives, VP of People, Peer 1 Hosting

For any candidate, attending an interview can be a daunting task. Being able to not only bring your whole self whilst demonstrating key skills and knowledge is no mean feat.

However most candidates can often fail to recognise the pressure the interviewer is under. Looking for the right person, not only to suit the role but also to fit with the company environment is one of the most critical responsibilities of a leader. But in order to find the right candidate you first must outline exactly what type of candidate you’re looking for.

Having the skills in order to do your job can be taught, experience is something that comes with time. However having the right fit with culture and values is more important, they need to not only buy into the culture of the business and work well as part of a team but they also need to have the hunger and the drive to learn. Energy, passion, commitment and authenticity should always be considered at the forefront. If you are dedicated to your employees you will invest time and resources in order for them to gain the essential skills requited for their role.

In order to find the perfect fit for your organisation:
• Tailor your selection process for the ideal candidate you’re searching for
• Don’t make the interviewing process too rigid or formal (unless that’s the type of candidate you want). By creating an informal relaxed atmosphere you’re more likely to gain an honest view of the applicant. Remember it’s a 2-way street. It helps if you think yourself being interviewed by the candidate too. What type of impression do you want to make? Are you reflecting the values and organizational culture?
• Probe – ask for follow-up questions. It helps to combine different types of questions such as strengths-based, and competency-based – it gives you a more rounded view
• Include questions that are unique to your organisational culture. If for example you value a sense of fun and play at work, then you want to ask questions about their hobbies, any charity endeavors, sporting activity, any hidden talents etc. We ask people to draw a picture of what inspires them – because we value people bringing their whole self to work

The interview as we know it should be dead and buried. Rather it should be treated as an opportunity for feedback on both sides around fit for the job and office culture. If you engage employees early on, they are more likely to form attachments to their organisation and feel a part of the cultural fabric. This in turn lowers staff turnover and creates a happier team.

The key aspect of the interview process is to discover if they are the right cultural fit for your business. The perfect candidate will seamlessly fit into the organisation and the existing team. And if you base your interview in discovering their personality, its more likely that this will happen.