Should You Hire a Candidate who Doesn’t Interview Well?

December 28th, 2015

Interviews are part of the hiring process, but that doesn’t mean they should be the only factor in your hiring decision. Particularly for technical positions, you should rely on other factors besides interviewing skills when deciding to make an offer. After all, you aren’t hiring the candidate to answer interview questions. You’re hiring them to write or test code or perform other technical tasks. Communications skills may not matter as much as their technical ability. Use these other ways to judge whether they can do the job:

  1. Ask them to solve a problem. Answering technical questions doesn’t demonstrate the practical abilities the candidate has nearly as well as having them solve an actual problem. Ask them to write some code, design a database schema, or write a test case. Step out of the room and let them work on the problem the way they would if it was really their job. You could even have them tackle a real problem from your current project. After they finish writing the code, schema, or test case, go over it with them. If it’s perfect, that’s great. But almost nobody’s work is perfect. See how the candidate reacts to suggestions or questions about how to improve it. This will give you a sense of what they’ll be like to work with as team members.
  1. Take references seriously. These days, many employers won’t let references do more than confirm that the candidate once worked for them, but try to get more information from the reference than that. You want to find out about the projects the candidate worked on and the problems they solved. The more details you can get about the nature of the work and the way the job seeker tackled the challenges, the more you can get a feel for whether they would fit well in your organization.
  1. Consider their involvement in technical organizations or continuing education. If the candidate is involved in technical organizations or continuing education, that suggests a commitment to remaining technically current. Would your department benefit if the candidate shared this knowledge with the team?

Interviews are important, but they’re just one source of information during the hiring process. Work with  InReach IT Solutions to make sure candidates are fully evaluated and you end up with a great new employee.