One of the greatest challenges in management is recruitment. There are so many different things to evaluate including: experience, education level, soft skills, teachable skills, personality and natural tendencies.

It is not uncommon for managers to have a great deal of anxiety surrounding recruitment. How do you know who the right person for the position is? How do you know they can do the job or that they will like the job? How much credit do you give to nerves when an applicant’s answer seems vague or unconfident? These are all valid questions but when conducting interviews remembering these three things will help you.

  1. Personality Matters. Think about the personalities that the new person will be interacting with on a regular basis. Ask the applicants questions about the types of personalities they like to work with or those that they find more challenging. Compare their answers with your evaluation of the new position’s interactions. Will they be dealing with similar people or personalities? This might not be the best fit if the types of personalities they find most frustrating are the majority of the personalities they would be engaging with in the new role. Remember to focus on how well personalities will mesh together on the team. Personalities will differ; that’s a good thing. You don’t need everyone to be the best of friends, but you do need to minimize potential conflicts from the beginning.
  2. Interest Level Matters. People need to care about what they are doing and feel that their contribution matters. When these two things exist, a person will be productive and more committed to long-term employment. Ask what made them decide to go to college or take their last job. Ask about one of their hardest days at work; then ask what made them stay after that day. Look for answers that go beyond money and pay raises. Find out what motivates the candidate. Compare how their motivational points fit with the company and the position for which they are interviewing.
  3. Triggers Matter. Personal triggers don’t change. When applicants are telling you stories about their former employers consider whether those triggers exist in this position. If working autonomously in an office environment with little direction caused them frustration in their last job and your setup is basically the same – this is not your candidate. Don’t set yourself or the applicant up for failure. Be clear and honest about your environment, the management style and culture. You want to find the best fit that is mutually beneficial.

Interviewing candidates can be difficult. Just remember that you are identifying the person based on the position, the company culture and the responsibilities. Think about what you need in advance and then compare the characteristics, traits and skills of the applicants to those needs. This process will easily help narrow the playing field down to 2-3 top candidates. Then apply the three evaluators above and the one person who is your best candidate should rise clearly to the surface.