Kristina FinsethJune 15, 2017
Topics: Recruiter Experience

3 Tricks to Find Out if You've Got the Right Candidate

We’ve all been there before. You find this amazing candidate. They interview like a rock star, saying all the right things you need to hear, and making you feel warm and fuzzy. You make an offer, and they accept. Then, they start working on your team, and you’re like, “Who is this? This can’t be the same person I interviewed.”

Although some of this situations can’t be avoided, here are three tricks to testing the values of your candidate to see if they are the right fit for your organization and team.

Be like Richard Branson, AKA the Taxi Driver. When I was at LinkedIn Talent Connect back in October, I had the pleasure of sitting three rows from Richard Branson during his interview. He told a story that captivated me about a group of candidates that he was bringing in for an interview.

These candidates were transported by an older taxi cab driver to the interview, and some of the candidates were less than nice to the driver. They refused to assist him with their luggage and made few statements about his age.

Unbeknownst to the candidates, Richard Branson pulled his mask off upon arrival to the interview to show that he was actually disguised as the taxi driver. Based on the actions and comments of some of the candidates, he made a decision on the spot not to hire them.

For Richard Branson, this was a fantastic way for him to find the right people sharing the same core values as his organization.

Don’t bring them into the office. Take them to lunch. If you just don’t have the ability to dress up like a taxi driver, don’t worry. There are other ways to evaluate the attitude and values of your candidates, and taking them for a lunch interview is one way to do it.

Of course, you shouldn’t get hung up on what your candidate is eating or not eating. However, you can work with the restaurant staff to either mess up the order so you can gauge your candidate’s reaction to the situation.

According to this recent article, even if you don’t have the restaurant mess up your candidate’s order on purpose, you can use lunch to gauge them anyway. This includes your candidate’s manners and social interactions. Do they have a strong presence that would add great value for that client-facing position they are interviewing for?

Get feedback from your front desk receptionist. If you work in an office environment where there is a gate-keeper or front desk receptionist, their feedback could be valuable in assessing some of the soft traits of your candidate.

Did the candidate make an introduction to the receptionist or any polite small talk while waiting for the interview? Were they rude or unfriendly to the receptionist? Did they sit on their cell phone or behave in an unprofessional way while waiting?

The way a candidate treats other employees in the organization, even if they aren’t part of the executive team, can speak volumes about their people skills and values.


What are some other creative ways you’ve gauged a candidate’s values?

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