Yesterday Andrew Banks gave me an insight about interviewing that had never occurred to me, yet it was obviously correct the moment he uttered it.
“The best thing ever out of an interview is that you can tell someone something about themselves or about (their suitability for) a job that they couldn’t see in themselves”.
It’s a truth that is at odds with the way most modern recruitment interviews are conducted.
Most recruiters interview a candidate to match them to a specific job or jobs. This will be a job that the candidate has applied for along with other job(s) that the recruiter believes the candidate is a good match for.
Banks’ comment reveals the mindset difference between the best recruiters and the rest.
The best recruiters approach the interview without a predetermined view as to a candidate’s suitability for any particular role.
Having carefully reviewed the candidate’s resume, the best recruiters will have a well-developed sense of the possibilities for that particular candidate in advance of the interview; however they remain open-minded until the conclusion of the interview.
The focus of the best recruiters is to holistically understand the candidate first, then consider that candidate’s suitability for current vacancies and their suitability for other employers who don’t currently have vacancies registered.
This is a three-dimensional or non-linear approach to an interview.
This type of interview explores, in-depth, the candidate’s motivation, and behaviour, with their skills of lesser importance.
All other recruiters approach an interview with the opposite mindset – they are simply looking for the necessary evidence to decide whether the candidate is suitable or unsuitable to refer to a specific vacancy or other, very similar vacancies.
This is a two-dimensional or linear approach to an interview.
This type of interview explores, primarily, the candidate’s skills, with their motivation, and behaviour of lesser importance (if they are explored at all).
The competitive advantage enjoyed by the best recruiters as a result of their interviews is gained in two significant ways.
Firstly, their interviewing mindset and technique reveal ‘hidden truths’ that help widen the number of potential career and job opportunities available to the candidate.
Secondly, these ‘hidden truths’ are genuine insights to the candidate of such value and impact that great trust is placed in the recruiter by the candidate.
The combination of these two factors creates an exponential advantage for the best recruiters.
No wonder Andrew Banks was a million-dollar biller nearly forty years ago when $350k would have put you in the top five per cent of your industry peers.