Articles Tagged ‘incongruency’

This is Why You’re a Bad Interviewer: 3 States of the Interview

Tuesday, September 18th, 2012

As a recruiter or hiring manager you may be screwing up the interview at the utterance of the first question.

When you ask questions based on the three states of the interview, you are en route to creating interview success.

The following explains the three states and how to use them to pull in the right candidates every time.


Start every candidate search with a clear picture of who you want to hire. What do they look like, sound and smell like? How is their background constructed, and what are they looking for next? Create a “profile” for the perfect candidate. When you do this, you can quickly file through resumes, phone, and first interviews when a candidate isn’t a match.

When you don’t know what you want, you won’t know how to pick.

Now that you know what you want, the first interview should consist of “future” questions.

“What are you looking for next?”

“What is your ideal next job?”

“Describe your next perfect work scenario.”

Candidates will try to focus on their past – but don’t let them. Gently force them to convince you that what they’re looking for next is what you’re looking for next.

In addition, your job as a recruiter, owner, or hiring manager is to convince the right candidates that your ‘futures’ match.


The only important to-do in the first face-to-face interview is answering the question, “does this person match how they represented themselves on their resume and during their phone interview?”

If there is any incongruency, or a personal habit that disqualifies them (i.e. someone who is unkempt but wants to be the sales face of your company), move on.


After screening someone’s future desires and how they present themselves, it is now finally time to see how their past stacks up. Do they have the experience, Rolodex, and skills to knock the job out of the park? Walk away sold that the candidate can do what you need them to do, and don’t stop until you’re CONVINCED.

Questions like, “tell me about a time when you have…” or “what about your experiences at XYZ Company prepared you to do [X TASK]“, get at how a persons past can create success.

When you approach recruiting questioning with the above philosophy, you will attract better candidates, use your recruiting time well, and hire the right person.

Jamar Cobb-Dennard

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