Nothing that a company does is more important than hiring the right candidates. Every organisation is as good as the people that work in the organisation. Therefore, the endeavour is to hire a candidate who performs well and is the best fit for a job. It is all about hiring a candidate who is the best for you – meaning the candidate is a performer as well adapts well to the eco system. That is why a great candidate in one organisation can be a miserable failure in another. As over 50% of the hires made by an organisation result in a mis-hire (according to global research), every interviewer, therefore, strives hard to understand a candidate’s DNA through an interview. Interview is not the best way to gauge the suitability of a candidate for a job, but as nothing better has yet been discovered, it is used commonly by all organisations. Gauging a candidate’s suitability for a job is tough and not everyone is good at it as the rarest ability is the ability to assess one’s ability.Therefore, everyone has a different perspective of how to conduct an interview. Having said that, recruiters would generally look for the following traits in a candidate:
1. Passion: In today’s hyper competitive world where you need to constantly perform and deliver results, organisations need people who are outperformers and will meet their targets if not exceed them. In fact, today organisations fire more employees on performance issues than ever before in the past. Therefore, organisations look for employees who are passionate about their work as they feel candidates who are passionate will deliver results. Passion makes employees strive hard as they love what they do and will, therefore, do their best at work irrespective of the roadblocks. An employee devoid of passion will not only be a high maintenance, but will tend to give up and may not persevere.
2. High EQ: The need for collaboration to get optimum results is very high in most organisations today. The days of individual stars who are not team players are over. Low EQ, therefore, creates a lot of problems in an organisation and damages the work environment. It wastes a lot of management time as well and also brings negativity in the work environment as it demotivates employees. Therefore, for most organisations high EQ is today an imperative.
3. Hunger to Learn and Unlearn: The VUCA world of today is constantly changing and, therefore, organisations need employees who are hungry to learn as skills that gave great results in the past become fast obsolete. Besides, if a candidate thinks he/ she knows it all, it unlikely that they will want to learn. The antennae of a candidate should be open to learn new skills or way of doing your job. It is also important that the candidate is open to unlearn what is obsolete today. As organisations and environment are fast changing, employees of today must welcome change. Candidates who want to improve and are keen to get better at their jobs are, therefore, preferred.
4. Track Record: Employers like to hire employees who are winners and have outperformed in the past as this gives them comfort that the candidate will strive hard to succeed. Winning is a habit and a winner will always do his/her best to succeed. Therefore, be clear about your achievements and also what helped bring the results as your claims of being a winner with successful track record needs to be validated by the interviewer. It is good to know what was the strategy and what really helped bring the results. Also, what were the decisions that you took that helped. However, care should be taken to be not too full of yourself as this will tend to put off the interviewer. State what is true as that will showcase credibility and there are multiple means to cross check the same.
5. Homework: It is very important that you do proper homework about the organisation as well as people that you meet for an interview. Lack of homework especially at a senior level puts off an interviewer. It is also prudent to think about your responses to some standard questions that most interviewer would ask. You must know your USP and what you bring to the table. It helps if your responses are crisp and to the point.
Therefore, an interview must be taken seriously with proper application of your mind. Positive body language as well as appropriate dressing for the interview will help. Also, it is always good to ask a few pertinent questions rather than have a one-way dialogue. Finally, remember that it should be a good fit both for you as well as the organisation.
(By Ronesh Puri, Managing Director, Executive Access, an executive search firm)