Part Two: Are you Going to Interview A Quiet Candidate?

are you interviewing a qc

In part one, we talked how a candidate might appear quiet and passive owing to reasons like:

  • Their general nature. An introvert appears quiet, but that doesn’t necessarily mean they have nothing to say. In fact, they can have a lot to say if one talks about the right thing, here when one talks about the job.
  • Life situations
  • Recent tragedy

We saw how it is important to get over the general assumption that a talkative, enthusiastic candidate is a good candidate, and that being generally quiet is a bad quality.

We talked about the false assumption that a lack of confidence or self-esteem doesn’t necessarily amount to incompetency.

Dismissing someone because they are “too quiet” during their interview without giving them a chance can lend unfairness to the process.

Under Pressure: 

But interviews are tough to take. The interviewer has the pressure to make the right decision, with a limited amount of information and background about the candidate at hand. Sometimes, the interview is more than enough but sometimes, there is this inkling feeling: what if I pass over a really good and deserving candidate?

We bring you the final part of the Quiet Candidate series, this time for someone who is interviewing a person seemingly of few words.

Here are some tips to keep in mind while interviewing someone who just doesn’t seem to utter a word.

 

Interview, Not an Interrogation:

Many candidates, especially those on the anxious side may feel intimidated by the thought of having to go for an interview. In such cases, you can remember as an interviewer to convey them that they are here because your organisation is genuinely interested in their skills, accomplishments, and what they can offer, etc. Conveying that one is not going to be interrogated but actually being talked and listened to might help ease the nervousness a bit.

 

Minds Off the Interview:

It is a good idea as an interviewer to lay out the details of the job. When the details are laid out, the interviewee might get a more precise idea about what the job would involve, and whether they would be able to do it or not. You will thus help the candidate in taking their minds off the interview, loosen up a bit and actually begin talking.

 

Assume Out Loud:

If the job needs the person to be talkative, vivacious or at least socially adept, let the candidate know.

And if you feel like the candidate lacks social skills to handle the position, convey that feeling politely. The need to prove your assumption wrong may actually make the candidate talk about their past accomplishments and strengths.

But make sure you aren’t using an accusatory or condescending tone.

 

Walk to the Conclusion:

It is important to remember that the application went a step ahead onto the interview for a reason. Remember this before jumping to conclusions. While this is not saying to not rely on your skills to assess someone, don’t take just the “talking” factor into consideration while making the final decision.

 

Find Other Sources:

If you have a feeling a candidate can do much better than their interview, it is a good idea to talk to the references listed to get a more clear idea and convert the feeling into something more concrete.

One might also get more information about the life of the person, which often helps to make sense of certain oddities in behaviour. Word of God may have a certain weight to it, but words of former employers, former colleagues, professors, teachers are pretty helpful if you want a wider picture of the candidate.

 

Instincts, experience, attention to numerous details, not hanging on to just one aspect, are some key words to remember while interviewing someone who appears quiet and reserved. You better think twice before making any decision!

Part One: Are you A Quiet Candidate?

Are you a quiet candidate image

 

Interviews can be tough for those who are generally quiet, soft-spoken, anxious or are not sure about what to say. Introverts are people of few words, especially on occasions that may feel like mere formality to them. But that doesn’t necessarily mean they have nothing to say.

Furthermore, life situations, a recent tragedy, constant rejections etc,. could also make an otherwise vivacious person into someone who appears tired and awkward. Such people might come across as mediocre, passive candidates.

It is important to get over the general assumption that a talkative, enthusiastic candidate is a good candidate, and that being generally quiet is a bad quality.

Moreover, it is worth taking note that lack of confidence is not the same as a lack of self-esteem, and that a lack of both does not necessarily mean someone is bad at their job.

Tricky Business: 

But interviews are tricky, especially for someone who is not comfortable with the spoken word. There is a pressure to convey the right things, in the right words, in a limited space of time. That too, without sounding pushy or inauthentic.

What can you do if you fear you will come across as a quiet candidate?

We bring you part one of the bi-article series of the Quiet Candidate. Here are some psychological tips to remember which may be used as starting points for thinking about more practical solutions.

 

Listeners First, Interviewers Later:

Remembering that the interviewer is interested in what skills you can offer, in what ways you can contribute to the organisation/institution etc.,  is a good strategy to bring out the flow of words and getting rid of the anxiety surrounding the concept of interview itself. Remember, you are not going for an interrogation. A panel of people genuinely wants to listen and talk to you!

 

Job > Interview:

As a candidate, you can try your best to make yourself see beyond the interview: the job. As basic as it sounds, thinking about what the job may entail, the roles involved may keep you from dwelling on the interview. Thinking beyond the immediate short-term may help you to find better things to think and talk about. Over-thinking can drive you crazy but long-term thinking can give you perspective and a sense of calm.

 

Check:

Go through the job role. See if it falls within your comfort-zone, and if it doesn’t ask yourself how much prepared and willing are you to move out of your zone. And make sure you talk about that preparedness and willingness during the interview.

If you would not prefer a job which has a lot of talking to do, or a lot of social-interaction, then do not apply for it. Use your knowledge of self and see what else can work. Or apply only after thoroughly weighing the pros and cons. Sometimes, climbing a tree is not a great option when the ability lies in swimming through the waves! But if it is a case where you have to apply for the job, the next point can be useful.

 

Say it:

Some jobs require one to be talkative or at least socially adept. It is very easy for the external observer to misunderstand being quiet as being mediocre.

As a quiet candidate, if you  feel like the interview is not conveying your skills, you can say that you aren’t usually this quiet. Such a remark might be used as a cue, to begin talking about your past accomplishments or strengths, and thus give a sense of direction to the interview.

 

Remember the Why:

An application progressed to an interview for a reason. It was deemed good enough. Remembering the why’s would ensure there is not too much anxiety.

You may use this as an affirmation. Furthermore, recalling by a simple “why” the reason you thought the position appealed to you and why you felt you should apply, can help you find points to talk about.

 

References Are Important:

As a candidate it is necessary to list out reliable, relevant references. While many people often consider this section of their CV a mere formality, it is not so. Rather, what someone else has to say about you may become important when/if your words aren’t enough, and here is when hiring managers often get in touch with your references. Former colleagues, former employers, professors, friends, teachers are great sources of creating a detailed picture of you, which might not have been apparent in the interview.

While it is not possible to control what others assume, it is certainly possible to communicate clearly. And it is certainly, certainly possible to have conviction in your skills, and transmute that confidence in your bearing. So, if you are the quiet candidate, you can heave a sigh of relief that interviewers are indeed deliberating over you!

Part two coming soon!

Tips on how to recruit employees fitting the company culture

Recruitment is not just to expand a firm’s work force but to increase the proficiency of the firm altogether. Many make a common mistake of judging people by their curriculum vitae and skill sets while overlooking their temperament and character. This often causes workplace tension and results in decline in moral among the work force. The process of recruitment is not just interviewing and selecting the candidates. Just asking some questions randomly or according to the candidate’s curriculum vitae will just not make the cut. Reason is that the candidates may answer it accurately but it will not give you a clear picture of their temperament and mindset. To judge whether a candidate is fit for the culture of your company or not, can be found out by following some interview tips and tricks. Such few pointers are discussed below on how to choose a candidate fitting your company’s culture.

Recruit Employees Fitting The Company Culture

  • The candidates must previous experiences

The candidates must be asked about their previous experiences for a good start as an interviewer, you could always ask the candidates about their past working experiences. This will give him an opportunity to Speak, and for you to judge him, from whatever he speaks. As the candidate enumerates his/her past experiences, many things can be noted from that. For eg , his/her communication skills, Flow of the thought process, his/her abilities to handle things. Further, this can be elaborated by asking, his/her achievements/failures in various jobs. At the back end Interviewer can analyse, how similar or different are these things as compared to the Employer Company.

  • Ask reasons for a “Change”

The reasons of the incumbent, for looking for a Change should always be explored. This will give the Interviewer an insight on, what is it that is hurting/itching the candidate. And whether the same/similar parameters exist in your company. In case such conditions, for which the candidate is running from, are existing in your company also, then the chances of his surviving with your company are less. If so please clarify this point at that time itself, so that if he joins, he knows about these parameters. If the candidate’s reasons for a change are satisfied, then chances of his sticking to your company long term are good.

  • Sceptical approach

Sceptical approach on candidates’ answers is a must The aforesaid point may sometime backfire your true intentions as some sly candidates may grab hold of this opportunity and exaggerate the minor difficulties that they face in their current employment, with an overreacting tendency. These candidates may be weeded out by sceptical questionnaire from your front. This kind of interrogative interview from you & other interviewers would create a pressure on these candidates and would reveal their folly. These candidates treat discipline and deadlines as difficulties which is definitely a pre-requisite for any office work culture.

  • The diligence of the candidates

The above points unfolds the fact that whether the candidates have faced difficult work place experience or not. If the answer is yes then the question that comes up is how the candidate coped up with that situation. Here is where you would get a complete mind set analysis of the candidates. If you get the hint that the candidates have persevered through the tough times all while trying to uphold the moral of the team and deliver the project then the candidates would be a better fit than candidates who have bailed themselves out in such times.

  • The candidates educate

It is mandatory to let the candidates educate about your firm’s work culture after the conclusion of the interview session you must educate the candidates about the code of conduct, ethics and ambience of your firm. These know how must be handed to the candidates in written document of articles and acknowledgement. Well, the document must be served only if the selection is penultimate. Candidates choosing to abide the term of your company will definitely fit its culture.

Wishing you All the Best for a Successful Recruitment.

Success Traits for Interview

When you apply for a post, you think that whatever is mentioned in the advertisement will be looked by the person sitting in the interview room. You focus a lot on the technical aspects, job knowledge, and profile. However, to your disappointment, the interviewer asks a few questions related to it.

He is keener to know about what are the challenging situations faced by you. When did you implement your technical skills to resolve a business problem? What is the most stressful moment in your life so far? How do you visualize the shape of your field after five or ten years down the line?

What is the interviewer trying to assess? He is trying to find out a few traits that stand out you differently than others. These qualities overshadow your technical skills.

Here are ten important qualities that you must possess to become successful in the professional life.

You can tell about your growth path precisely

success traits

If you can tell about the career path precisely and keenly, then it is a good thing. You know your strengths and weaknesses. Interviewer understands that you have followed your passion and vision carefully and keenly.

There is another important aspect. You should be able to explain about the career path going forward. Experts say that employee should look ‘self-directed’ instead of being directed by others. Those who look confident can drive the things better.

You can tell about success stories

When interviewers ask about your success stories so far, they expect precision. You should be able to tell what exactly ‘you’ did in the project? What was your contribution ad how did it help the project’s success?

When an employee talks to the point about the contribution, it gives an impression that he has really worked on the project. It is not a story cooked for the sake of interview. It is not required that you climbed Mount Everest or got a Gold Medal in Olympics. The achievement could be small but meaningful.

You know what you can do the best and what are your limitations?

Your employer wants to hire you because he expects that you can fulfill the expectations, rather you perform beyond expectations. You are asked about what is that you are proficient into. That task will be given to you. It is expected that you do it well. Hence, you should tell about the expertise.

If you are a genius in MS Excel, then mention that confidently during the interview. It creates a positive impact. In case the interviewers go into deeper, then you should not disappoint them.

You can think independently, but take the team along to achieve it

A leader should be visionary. He should lead the team by giving unique ideas. It is possible only when the leader thinks independently. However, it is impossible to take the idea forward without the support of your team.

For this reason, during the interview, you should emphasize on your ability to think independently and differently. However, you should show the ability to lead the team to implement the idea. People love to hire great thinkers who are also great leaders. When smart people are there to brainstorm, the company achieves unprecedented growth.

You should not be ashamed of showing your ambitions!

Is it a bad thing to be over ambitious? At least entrepreneurs don’t think it bad. Ambitions are good because they drive a person to work hard and achieve excellence. It means that you don’t like to be confined into the routine framework. You love excitement and challenge. You want to climb high and high on the ladder by mastering new skills and abilities.

From the organization’s perspective, it is a good thing. You can be a driving force for others in the organization. You can set new benchmarks of success. Therefore, don’t hide your ambitions but put them assertively and positively.

Show your interest in learning new things

Sometimes, interviewers play a trick. They understand your interests and liking first. Then, they inform that you are being hired for a profile that requires a totally different skill set. What will you do in such situation? Mostly, people fall in the trap and refuse the proposal.

Interviewers assess your ability to swim against the current. The more willing you are to learn new skills; the higher you can reach the organizational hierarchy. Hence, don’t refuse the proposal blindly. Inform that the profile requires different skills, but you are ready to learn the same.

You are goal-oriented

Show that you are a person who sets the goals and achieves them diligently and precisely. You love challenges and feel proud in conquering them.

All these are the traits of winners. No organization would like to recruit losers. Showcase your skills well to hit the Bull’s Eye!