The Hiring Process 101: Finding The Perfect Fit – Part 3

At Centennial, we align ourselves with good partners to round out our expertise. Here, Centennial’s Mike Sipple, Jr. and Jerry Howard have co-authored a three-part series on the ins and outs of hiring, from the planning stage to the start date.

Decision-making: The Actual Interview and Selection Process

Now is the time for you to consider the candidate’s experience and background fit. Then, you will probably want to have your top candidates take an assessment to gain more in-depth knowledge of their capabilities. Next come the final interviews, and then it’s decision time!

Looking into background and experience

There are limitations to obtaining background information about people, but do all you can within the law to find out more about what a candidate has done in their career. When possible, track down the names of people who worked with the candidate and individuals who they may have worked for during their career. Former colleagues or customers can be helpful, as well as good sources to interview.

The assessment isn’t everything

Never use the assessment as “the decision-maker,” and never label a candidate or employee using the assessment results. The assessment should tell you the strengths, weaknesses, and “blind spots” each candidate has to offer. You should interview and have conversations based on the results provided.

Try to:

  • Compare the candidate’s strengths to the job requirements
  • Determine what weaknesses are not relevant
  • Consider what can be done to compensate for the weaknesses or “blind spots” that may affect job performance
  • Stay wary of assessments that are based on personality, or questions that can be easily manipulated by the candidate
  • Identify strengths or experiences that if overused could be a negative for the culture fit of your organization
  • Evaluate the areas of the particular candidate’s experience that if leveraged properly will create tremendous value and help you achieve your goals and objectives.

Then, you can use this information in structuring the interview to confirm or disprove your concerns.

Remember, you can capitalize on a candidate’s strengths and compensate for some of their weaknesses and “blind spots,” but it is very difficult to take a zebra and make it a Tennessee Walker.

Insightful interviewing

Keep interviews structured and on topic.

Make sure that your employees on the “true selection team” are not overly “people-pleasing” and feel the need to be liked by everyone. Otherwise, they might shy away from asking the tough questions, and simply stick to those that will make both them and the candidate comfortable.

Meet with the selection team members after the interview for a recap, and make the meeting a face-to-face regroup. Do not use emails, texts or any electronic media to conduct this important session.

Always try to have an interview system that allows for a numbering of the results. That way, while you’re considering candidates you can better compare them without forgetting anything or leaving anything to subjectivity.

Next steps

After the interview, always get back to the candidate with the results and where he or she stands. Never allow a candidate to sit and wonder what is going on. Send each candidate a written reply after an interview, letting him or her know what the next steps are and when a decision will be made.


A few more points to keep in mind as you move forward:

  • Know yourself and your organization, including your own strengths and weaknesses.
  • Know what the job requires for success.
  • Don’t short-change the selection system you’ve established.
  • Don’t let ego get in the way of doing the job at hand.

Here’s to ever more successful recruiting!

Read Part 1 and Part 2


Centennial, Inc. Leadership & Talent Blog

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