Recruiting and Dating: They’re Not That Different

What questions should I ask?
Will they get along with the people I care about most?
Do their values align with mine?
If this works out, how long will we stay together?

Whether you’re interviewing a candidate or going on a first date, the nerves are unavoidable. You’re meeting someone for the first time and you have no idea how it’s going to go, if you’ll click, or if it’s going to work out.

Before the first meeting, throughout the conversation, and after it’s over, you’re always thinking, what now? It takes some time to get someone to put all of their cards on the table.

To put some structure to the process, here are our top 4 tips on how to prepare for the vetting process – before, during, and after.

The preparation.

Getting your questions ready, doing your research on the history and current situation of the person, and practicing what you’re going to say. We all do it. The more prepared you are, the better the conversations will be, right? Maybe. And maybe not.

Tip #1: Don’t over-prepare.

Don’t let that one bad Instagram photo dampen your view of them. Yes, it’s important to know the information you need to know about the person, yet don’t let that cloud your objectivity. Give them a chance to show them who they are. If you’re interviewing them, let them show you their skills. Be open minded and give them the space to be themselves.

It’s happening.

You’ve said your hellos, had your ‘tell me about yourself’ small talk, and now you’re getting into the deeper stuff. You ask a question, and the response you get is…silence. What do you do?!

Tip #2: Take your time!

There’s no need to be in a rush. It’s hard to get to know someone fully in a short interview (or date). Your candidate/date wants to share themselves and easing into a conversation is better than diving head first into the nitty-gritty. Know that silence is also a sign they are thinking about their answer – so let them think.

Meet the friends.

Whether you’re recruiting a candidate or newly dating someone, there comes a point where you introduce them to the people that matter. Fellow colleagues (your friends) and potential managers (your parents) – their opinions matter and they could be the deciding factor on if the relationship continues or not.

Tip #3: Give everyone a heads up.

There’s nothing worse than throwing someone into the deep-end without any warning.

Put the candidate (or your date) at ease by preparing them with the info they need: who they’re meeting with – names and titles, and why they are meeting them in the first place. Don’t plan any surprise visits – unless that’s part of your interview tactics. You sneaky interviewer you.

Set your friends and colleagues up with what they need to know about your date/candidate with objective information. You want their unbiased opinions so don’t influence their decision on the person before they’ve had an opportunity to make their own assessment.
“I love this candidate and want you to love them too,” is not an unbiased way of getting their honest feedback about that person.

Have the conversation.

Whether things are moving forward or not, have the conversation with the person to clarify where you’re at. And do it over a phone call or in-person – avoid texts and emails at all costs.

Tip #4: Be honest and aware.

If you’re not offering them the job, offer to share some constructive feedback about what they can improve on. Be aware of their situations and feelings – let them say if they want to hear it or not.

If you’re not moving forward together, tell them in person or over the phone. No one likes getting dumped over text. You don’t need to go into details about the why, unless that’s part of your internal practices. Sometimes it just didn’t click or another person was a better match. And that’s that.

And if everything is great, butterflies are constantly flying, and everyone is just as in love with the person as you are, tell them! Give them a compliment and let them know that you’re excited about where things are going.

At the end of it all, being open-minded, patient, intentional, and candid wins – be that in interviews or in real life dating!

With all this talk about communication, if you’re looking to improve how you share honest, constructive, and objective feedback, look into our Manager Start Line online training program where we have a module dedicated to exactly this.

Meet Steph. She is a force. She is a firecracker. She is a lover of love.

Category
Recruiting Best Practices
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