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It’s Not Only What You Say; it’s How You Say It

Posted on 3/8/11 9:30 AM

As a human resources professional within a loss prevention organization one of my responsibilities is recruiting our team of loss prevention experts.  Selecting the individual whose skills and expertise match the requirements for any position can be a daunting task.  Knowing what to look for during the employment interviewing process will help identify the candidate that is the best fit for your organization.

Listen to hire the best resized 600Interviewing is much more than just asking questions and receiving answers.  People communicate in many different ways.  Studies show that the majority of our message is received through visual and vocal cues rather than words. 

Obviously we can’t use mannerisms as the only basis for our hiring decisions. But, in candidates’ responses we should listen and look for critical thinking skills, problem solving skills, a level of confidence, and the ability to communicate.  We should ask open-ended questions as opposed to closed (yes/no) questions.

Some typical “red flags” displayed by candidates during an employment interview might be:

  • A candidate who complains about their current (or most recent) job or boss could be conveying s/he does not take responsibility for his or her actions or possesses questionable loyalty.

  • A candidate who answers quickly before fully processing a question, or cuts off your question with an answer unrelated to your question may indicate a careless worker who lacks preparation.

  • Someone who studies the company beforehand is a candidate worth considering. But when a candidate professes they know exactly what the position entails or how your organization operates, it’s usually a danger sign of conceit and it may be hard to train that person properly.

  • If a candidate displays a lack of respect for or is critical of junior staff or support positions you may be dealing with an inconsiderate bully.

  • Poor manners are another red flag. Smart candidates pick up the expected manners and culture of a prospective employer. Ignoring the manners and culture is a sign that someone's oblivious to what's appropriate and what's inappropriate.

Overall, trust your instincts and watch for the red flags.  Focusing on experience, professionalism and expertise, while silently evaluating the candidate’s mannerisms and communication skills will help you “hire the best” and build an effective and efficient team. 

Written By Claire Gibbons, Director of Human Resources

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Topics: Loss Prevention program and development

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