Have you ever hired a job applicant who everyone loved during the interview process, had high hopes for… only to have them be a flop once hired, or at best be a marginal performer?

If this has ever happened to you, don’t be concerned. It happens more than we like to admit…and more often than we believe it does.

Why, you ask, does this happen? There could be many reasons but the most common one is an employer’s tendency to hire the candidate most qualified to get the job rather than to do the job. The presentation is overvalued in comparison to the candidate’s ability to handle the job successfully.


Check your emotions, and make a game plan

As flawed beings, we are quick to make first impressions. If that impression is favorable, we tend to ask easier questions to help validate the decision we have already formulated in our mind; sometimes even guiding or directing the applicant to give us the answer we want to hear.

Conversely, if our first impression of the applicant is not favorable we go through the same process to dismiss their candidacy.      

So, if you want to hire superior people, first define superior performance.


Here are our 7 Steps to Hiring the “Right” Candidate

1 – Results – don’t just hire based upon skills & qualifications because it’s what you do with what you have that counts.

2 – Compile a “Superior Performance Profile”, outlining the top six to eight performance objectives a person taking the job needs to possess to be considered successful.

3 – Share this profile with all team members involved in the interview process, asking them to assess the candidate based upon those criteria.

4 – As much as possible, park your emotions in the emotional parking lot and instead, conduct the interview based on the performance profile criteria. At the end of the interview, add your impression of the candidate into your evaluation.

5 – During the interview, wait at least 20-30 minutes before forming a decision on their candidacy.

6 – Afterward, meet as a group to gather input from the rest of the interviewing team, giving each of them partial voting rights.

7 – Make a “NO” decision harder to justify than a “YES.” A “no” is a safe & easy decision, sometimes devoid of anything more than a gut feeling. Instead, ask for detailed information and/or evidence to support their choice. All too often, “no” decisions are based solely on weak or lazy interviewing.


I believe that if you apply this approach and methodology to your interviewing process you will greatly enhance the quality of your hires, resulting in a more productive work environment.

For more helpful information on this topic, you should read “Hire with Your Head,” by Lou Adler.


Did we leave any out? Comment below with any helpful tactics you use when selecting the “right” candidate.


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