This article is Part 1 in a series of “Real Stories from Real Recruiters.” We check in with several Brightwingers to reveal some important lessons for anyone who’s looking either for talent or for opportunities. This story is from Brightwing’s Matt Glynn, Sr. Lead IT Recruiter.
Know When to Coach Your Candidate for the Interview
While recruiting for a technical support role, I found an amazing candidate. I just knew she’d be an incredible asset for any company – she was a high achiever who took initiative, clearly possessed a high work ethic, had exceptional customer services skills, and had a well-rounded technical background. She was the perfect fit for any number of roles I was working on, so I wasn’t surprised that I was able to set up several interviews for her immediately.
I was surprised when the feedback for the first few interviews I sent her on was negative. After speaking more in-depth with those who interviewed the candidate, it was clear that her lack of interview experience was her biggest obstacle. As it turns out, this candidate hadn’t looked for a new job in years and had limited interview exposure. While I had prepped her before on each interview and even went so far as to take her through mock interview questions, when challenged to think on her feet, she lost her confidence and didn’t perform well at all.
Having gotten to know her well, I could tell she was secure talking competently and personably with those she felt comfortable with, but her nerves in an interview were winning out. Knowing her potential value to any employer, I set some time up to do a more in-depth mock interview, coaching her on her interview technique and helping her to think more quickly on her feet. I introduced her to behavioral-based interviewing, asking her difficult questions until she was confident in her delivery and articulation.
It worked! The next interview she attended won her a job that she still loves to this day and where she’s a great fit. The situation was definitely a great lesson into the reality that an interview doesn’t always reflect a candidate’s true personality or competence. Working with a candidate to overcome these obstacles is the true test of a great candidate-recruiter relationship.