Interviewing Tips – How to Classify Candidates

“I don’t talk a lot when I interview. My job is to get out of the way.”

– Anna Deavere Smith

That dreaded word interview sends shivers up and down the spine of most upper level financial management. Hiring managers struggle to find the time to fit them in; candidates hate to do them. For most financial executives, they’re viewed as a necessary evil to building a team- a box to be checked, so they can get back to business. Interviews are not always the best determinate in predicting a candidates success. Here are some tips on classifying the “right” fit for your firm.

Look for key factors.

Initiative, analytical ability, education, values and confidence are all solid factors to consider when looking for the right candidate for your financial firm. There are certain questions that can get you the information you need. Questions such as: Walk me through the first five things you would do if you got this job? What three things do you need to be successful in this job? Talk about a time you took a risk in your professional capacity and failed, and where you succeeded? Look for target words during questioning that will allow you to zero in on the candidates answers; self awareness, honesty, conceptual thinker, humble.

Build a solid pipeline.

Screen applicants who have shown interest in the firm and who have basic knowledge of the inner workings of a financial position. Put them aside and hold onto these candidates so that when a position opens up, you have a stock pile of “potentials” and the process can move much faster. Also, if a job is already posted, be aware of how long you “sit” on potential applications and resumes. The longer you wait to start the interview process and contacting candidates, the more likely it is you will lose out on interviewing good people.

Check the competition.

Pay attention to high turnover “warning signs” and the “decline to accept” answer from candidates. If you’re losing new hires or getting “no’s” from candidates you originally identified as a best fit, then you need to ask yourself why? Investigate the types of salaries, benefits and on-boarding practices of your competition. Determine trends in your firm that are costing you the best candidates and make changes based on what you’re seeing among other firms in your market. 

Pridestaff Financial wants you to get the most out of your employees. Our experts know that values and communication are key factors in a healthy work environment and a motivated financial team! Contact our staff and learn how you can build on these interview tips; finding the best fit for your organization!