If Top IT Candidates Interview Poorly, Should You Still Hire Them?

Employer Insights

top it candidates

You find yourself in a difficult situation: You have identified a top IT candidate looking for a new opportunity and convinced them to apply for one of your vacancies. Their track record speaks for itself and their resume and cover letter are highly impressive. The interview seems like a mere formality, but once it starts, the candidate turns in a terrible performance. Should that disqualify them from the position, or should you still decide to hire them? We would like to suggest that first impressions can be misleading and that you should not base your hiring decision entirely, or even primarily, on interview performance. Ask yourself the following questions to get a different perspective on the situation:

“Did the Interview Questions Focus on the Future or the Past?”

You probably wanted to hear about the candidate’s impression of your company, their ideas for improvements, and their plans to make a big impact. But you may have fallen into a trap that plagues a lot of interviewers – focusing on the past rather than the future. If this is the case, you didn’t hear about the visionary ideas you were looking for simply because you didn’t ask to hear them. Like all good interviewees, the candidate answered the questions as asked and avoided going off on tangents.

“Did the Candidate’s Body Language Betray Anything?”

Subtle vocal and physical clues reveal a lot about a person’s state of mind – short, clipped phrasing, a furrowed brow, exasperated sighs, fidgety fingers etc. If you noticed these signs in your candidate, it doesn’t necessarily mean that they have a surly temperament or impatient character. It could reveal that they were simply frustrated with the interview process itself. Remember that top IT candidates are actively courted, and they have little patience for overly long interviews, redundant questions, or useless complexity.

“Did the Candidate Seem Jarred by Certain Questions?”

Sitting through a job interview is a stressful process, even for top  IT candidates who have no trouble securing work. If the candidate you interviewed seemed like they were surprised and unprepared for certain questions, it may simply be a sign of nerves, not lack of preparation. If your interview style is specifically designed to trip up candidates, you shouldn’t be surprised when it works.

As a final thought, reflect on how hard it is to recruit top talent and how much of an impact they can have on a business. If you interview someone who has a demonstrated history of going above and beyond, that should influence your hiring decision far more than the interview performance. When you’re ready to start connecting with the best IT talent on the market, contact INSPYR Solutions.

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