We’ve just completed a series of three blog posts on behavioral interviewing, each focusing on different levels of candidates. It’s a good time to point out that there are actually three key aspects to interviewing:
Selling the firm — At the end of the day, when it comes to the best candidates, you are interviewing each other. This is true no matter who is asking most of the questions. An interviewer needs to connect with the candidate to be successful which depends on picking suitable interviewers. The rest depends on showing interest and curiosity in the candidate, showing passion for your firm and making the firm’s work and clients seem meaningful.
Getting a good “match” — When we refer to a strong match, we mean that the candidate’s experience and skills line up well with the firm’s needs. For experienced hires, the candidate’s resume and prior work experience provide insight on this issue. With entry-level candidates, determining a match is more subtle. It will depend on interests, coursework, energy, and curiosity. But a word of caution: don’t overthink the match aspect with entry-level candidates. Skills can be learned. Over-insisting on personal backgrounds that match existing staff profiles can undermine recruiting a diverse candidate class.
Getting a good “fit” — Here we are referring to cultural compatibility, the similarity of values and the propensity to demonstrate desired behaviors. This is where the behavioral interview questions we’ve been blogging about come into play. In our view, this aspect is of particular importance because culture, values, and behaviors are hard to change.
Now is a good time to look at your approach to interviewing to ensure that you are addressing all three of these aspects. After all, you are in a people business — it’s worth the time to get the right people on your team.