When the Fuller House teaser trailer premiered, no one had any idea how good (or bad) the show would be. And just like a TV trailer, it’s hard to deny that the résumé does little more than skim the surface of what someone has to offer your company. All you’re really getting is a glimpse of a candidate’s job experience and assumed skill set.
But consider other variables: What drives the candidate or how he or she interacts in a collaborative environment? These days, an estimated 88 percent of employers are looking for a cultural fit over skills — and for good reason.
When you hire for personality, you’re putting people in place who will likely become invested in the success of your company. They are often more willing to learn and take responsibility for their roles in the organization. And they can be infectiously enthusiastic about their jobs, which creates a ripple effect throughout the company.
So what exactly can you do to assess the personalities of potential hires?
1. Stray from the more traditional line of questions. If you want to delve beyond the professional veneer of your job candidates, challenge them to think in different ways. At PCR Agency, we ask a few unusual questions right off the bat to force candidates to think critically. Questions like “If you could be doing anything, what would it be?” or “What are you geeking out about these days?” allow us to gain a better glimpse into what makes each candidate tick.
Unusual questions also have a way of putting potential hires at ease, so you’re less likely to hear those canned responses. As a result, you can more easily determine whether one person is a better fit — personality-wise, at least — than another.
2. Leverage technology. Shaking up how you conduct interviews can sometimes provide insights into the personalities of job candidates. With video interviewing platforms like Spark Hire, companies have the opportunity to connect face-to-face with long-distance candidates, which is a much better way to get a read on personality than over the phone.
We pose a series of questions via video interview, which gives us the chance to see each prospect’s mannerisms and how he or she answers questions under pressure. Because we can save the video, we also have the opportunity to share the interview with other members of our team without having to pull them into the conversation. We can then screen out those who don’t fit, saving both time and money.
3. Go “slice of life” with interviews. Instead of conducting the typical résumé review of an in-person interview, go with a more task-oriented one. We do something known as a strategy session where we give candidates a brief overview of a business challenge and encourage them to come up with ideas. Afterward, we’ll sit and talk about ways to creatively solve the problem.
Going this route will show you how potential hires think on their toes. It also provides you with the chance to see how they interact with your team, as well as a snapshot of their ingenuity and communication skills.
Personality traits like creativity, outgoingness, wit, and compassion can be difficult to grasp on paper. Even if candidates have backgrounds or experiences that somehow demonstrate these traits, you’re never quite sure until you get to know them. That’s why it’s so important to take the time to do it during the interview process.
You can always train on skills, but you can’t train on personality — nor should you. Hiring someone who doesn’t quite fit with your company will often send you right back to the start — just like basing your TV-watching decision on a 75-second teaser trailer — so let personality make or break your hiring decisions.
Drew Himel is the founder and CEO of PCR, an inbound marketing agency based in Jacksonville, Florida. He has helped clients implement successful inbound marketing campaigns by utilizing their internal data assets to find strategic solutions for more than eight years. Drew’s expertise has led to him speaking at several national conferences such as HubSpot’s Inbound, WSI’s Excellence and Innovation Conference, and Social Media Summit.