Sometimes, You Just Have To Take A Chance on Someone

It’s been said before that the job interview process is like dating—and it’s true! Just like dating, the process of finding the “right fit” can leave candidates feeling a variety of emotions—frustration, elation, confusion, excitement, anger, and relief, among others. The hiring manager is also feeling out how they feel about the candidate—do they see the candidate as someone they could have reporting to them, working alongside, and getting along with? We spend the majority of our daily lives interacting with our colleagues at work, more time than even with our family members, so that’s one aspect of what can make the hiring process so challenging.

Cale Smith, Executive Recruiter for Career1Source/Ag1Source, reminds clients that, when candidates come for an interview, they’re probably nervous and excited to be going through the interview process.

“How the process is handled and those first touchpoints should be done very carefully, to make a good impression on the candidate,” Smith says. “If you’re interviewing four people, then three of those people are going to walk away disappointed, so leaving them with a positive rapport and experience goes a long way.”

Word gets around, and if a candidate has a negative experience as part of the interview process, they’re going to share that with their friends, family and others in their network.

Hiring someone for a job is basically giving them a chance, which can be quite meaningful to the new hire. However, Smith notes that hiring a candidate should never be done out of sympathy. Hiring managers can tell by the way a candidate adapts and from their personality if they’re going to mesh well with the rest of the team. If a candidate can demonstrate that they’re coachable and hungry to learn, that can help boost their opportunities in an interview, Smith says.

“When I’m recruiting candidates for a position, previous experience is only 60-70% of what I’m looking for,” he says. “I also take into account the hiring manager’s personality, and try to match their personality to the candidates.”

Hiring managers sometimes will decide to take a chance on a candidate because the candidate’s personality is so similar to their own—they bond during the interview process and everything just clicks.

“If a candidate doesn’t have exactly the right experience, a company might be willing to work with them and train them, just because their personality aligns with what the hiring manager is looking for,” he says.

Some candidates may want to keep their emotions closed during an interview, not showing the company how much they really want the position, but Smith notes that this may backfire. Some hiring managers may prefer hiring a candidate that’s very enthusiastic about the company and the role. Just like in the dating world, it’s hard to make progress in a relationship for both sides if one side doesn’t show any interest.

Another group of candidates who sometimes just need someone to take a chance on them is candidates with military experience. Smith says that, in his experience, military service on a candidate’s resume is a positive.

“I’ve seen former military members with vast experience in cybersecurity during their military service who have successfully transitioned into IT,” he says. “Their military experience may vary depending on the branch and their individual responsibilities, but we know these candidates are going to be timely with meeting deadlines, able to handle responsibility, they know how work under pressure, and understand how their work functions within the greater team.”