What a candidate plans to do is pure hypothesis.
What they have done can be checked. Keep them on the track and keep a careful note of signposts along the way. I didn’t mention it in previous posts but I will now – make notes while you are interviewing.
Words evaporate if not trapped in ink, and you’ll find it most helpful to check the notes you have made, both with the candidate during the interview and with the referees you will be phoning later.
Contrary to popular belief, a candidate will not close up at the sight of you writing down the things they are saying. Rather, they’ll feel quite good that you find what they have to say is sufficiently important to be written down.
Don’t be awkward about it, and especially on important dates, figures, specific items that are capable of later verification, don’t be afraid to check back with them what you have written.
By keeping them to the facts you avoid the risk of some Irishman dazzling you with blarney. Blarney is blarney. Fact is fact.
At the end of the interview ask the candidate what they would like to know, and answer their questions. Make sure they have a fair chance to ask them all, and also tell them that you will be happy to answer anything they might think of later if they wish to phone you.
Always end the interview on a friendly note, and let the candidate go away feeling happy that they put up a good performance.
Your job is not to publicly expose liars, but simply to sort out whether the candidate you have been talking to fits your needs. And you never know, even if you don’t hire them now they may pop up somewhere else in a position to do you a favour or two.
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