The Factor of Likability in the Hiring Process

How you can choose the right candidate despite some feelings you may have

If you have been interviewing dozens of candidates for a certain position over the course of the past week or so, chances are the process is becoming second nature to you and you’re eating, sleeping and breathing the same list of questions you’ve asked all of these new people each day.

Some candidates may have made you laugh, you appreciated Monday’s third candidate’s smile, Thursday’s fourth candidate actually caught you off-guard with his quick wit and ability to handle every question and then there was Friday’s third candidate. He made you wince. You found him to be abrasive, arrogant and unempathetic. But, you’re in a pickle because he also happened to have the best mix of qualifications and experience for the job.

What do you do? You’ve met someone whom you cannot stomach being at a social gathering with, let alone working with on a daily basis. However, you also know that he would be able to do the job with his hands tied behind his back and wearing a blindfold.

This isn’t always a simple situation to manage. It’s a tough call, but there are a few factors to consider before making your final decision.

What is it about the candidate that you don’t like? Does he interrupt your sentences and not let you finish your thoughts? Did he consistently cross his arms and legs to promote a power pose while you were talking about a position in the company that requires working with a team? Or was it something trivial and personal, such as he looked and talked like your ex-husband?

You certainly have options, especially if one of the other candidates was thoroughly enjoyable and still exceeded the qualifications needed for the position. But, it may be worthwhile bringing the unliked candidate back for an additional interview. In the next interview, try to loosen him up or bring in another senior manager or supervisor to help scope out the candidate’s personality. You should always give someone a second chance if you don’t like them at first. However, if the second interviewer feels the same way about the candidate’s personality, chances are you should stick with someone else.

The bottom line: Sometimes you just don’t click with people, and that’s fine. That’s human. However, you’ll need to make the best decision for your company, not for you. If you can’t see this candidate working well on a team, then chances are he’s not the best candidate for the job.

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