Hiring on Personality

What are the factors you consider when vetting a candidate – education, experience, skills, work history? Those are all smart choices, but why isn’t personality on the list? After all, you will be inviting this person to spend eight hours a day in your office, working in close quarters with your employees, and interacting with your clients. If they are not someone you want to be around, it doesn’t matter how smart and accomplished they are.

The problem is that in the limited time of an interview, it’s hard to get a sense for someone’s true personality. Everyone brings their best face to an interview, and true character usually only gets revealed over time and under stress. However, there are ways you can get a deeper, more personal portrait of a candidate throughout the hiring process. Here’s how:

Enhance Your Job Description

Why not add a list of desired personality traits to the next job description you write? There’s not a guarantee that it will filter out the wrong candidates, but it’s a start. Plus, it gets you thinking about what you are really looking for in your next employee. Just make sure to stay away from personality traits that are too general (Nice) or too specific (Opera Lover).

Ask the Right Questions

The face-to-face intimacy of an interview is a great place to pick up on personality details. Instead of focusing only on explicit work-related questions, ask the candidate about their lifestyle, hobbies, or worldview. You can also reframe traditional best or worst moment-type questions in the context of someone’s personal experience, not just their professional life.

Look out for Negative Indicators

As we said before, everyone acts their best during a job interview, which is why it’s sometimes easier to watch out for the negatives than the positives. If there are certain personality traits that you know disrupt your office, be alert for them during the interview. Even if a candidate is smiling and nodding they can still reveal that they are selfish, unmotivated, or simply annoying.

Offer a Tour

At the end of your interview, take the candidate on a tour of your office and introduce them to some of the people they will be working with. You can tell a lot by observing their interactions and body language as they make their first impression. Just keep in mind that it is natural for recruits to be nervous and reserved in this kind of setting.

If you recruit based on personality, you’ll find your workforce filling up with professionals that you like to work with and who like working with you too. To connect with a more diverse pool of IT talent, partner with the experienced IT recruiters at Culture Fit.