Automotive Personnel founder and chief executive officer Don Jasensky addressed what he believes is the most common hiring mistake employers make.
The National Automotive Finance Association board member discussed when dealerships and finance companies might pass on a potentially high performing candidate because the individual did not “blow you away” or “show a lot of enthusiasm” during the first interview.
To illustrate the situation, Jasensky leveraged his 30 years of interviewing experience and several thousand successful placements to describe two hypothetical candidates named Bill and Mary.
“Bill is under a lot of stress at his current job and may soon be terminated for poor job performance,” Jasensky said. “Mary is excelling at her current position, just as she has in her past positions. She does not need a new job but is open to seeing what your opportunity is about and make a smart decision if it is worth pursuing further.”
He then asked managers to consider these questions stemming from those scenarios:
— Doesn’t this put a lot of pressure on Bill to find a new job? How might it affect his interviewing?
— How will the fact that Mary is under no pressure affect her interviewing?
It’s now interview day. Jasensky first recapped what likely happen during Bill’s interview with the finance company or dealership.
“As possible relief from the pressure of being terminated for poor job performance. Bill will be in ‘sales mode’ and compliment you, your company, and its product or service. Bill will be enthusiastic and ready to jump through any hoop, take any test, and will start very soon with you. Bill wants to impress you,” Jasensky said.
“Yes, Bill will interview very hard for your job. Bill will have no concerns about your position, its work content, or driving distance,” he continued. “Bill will work hard to cover up the fact that he is a low performer. Usually, by compliments, enthusiasm, and lack of job performance specifics. Bill will likely continue to be a low-performer if he gets your job.”
“As a learning and fact-gathering process. Mary isn’t trying to ‘sell’ you on herself nor impress you. She will tell you about her role and successes with pride, but she will not attempt to ‘blow you away,’” Jasensky said.
“Mary will likely be more pensive and ask thoughtful questions and probe you about issues she may see with your company, position, product, or service. She will openly express these concerns. This is how ‘high performers’ interview and make value judgments. Mary will likely continue to be a high performer if she gets your job,” he went on to say.
After the interview, Jasensky indicated that it’s likely Bill will be contacting your company often asking for a status update on the job search while he continues his own search with other firms. Meanwhile, Mary is like to be conducting more research about your company, replying only if you are seeking a second interview.
“Don’t confuse Mary’s behavior as being aloof nor low energy,” Jasensky said. “Mary is in thinking and fact-gathering mode, whereas Bill is in ‘sales mode.’
“If Mary becomes more certain that she wants your position, her interviewing will change, and she will switch gears and become more expressive and enthusiastic during follow-up interviews,” Jasensky went on to say.
Jasensky closed his latest personnel by reiterating what he believes is an important lesson in this situation.
“The best indicator of future job performance is past job performance. High performers tend to be high performers throughout their careers, and low performers tend to gravitate towards low performance,” Jasensky said.
“So invite Mary back for a second interview, and spend the time learning about her past and current job performance while checking references,”” he continued. “You may even need to ‘do some selling’ to entice Mary to your company.
“Many managers loathe the thought of having to sell the position or the company. However, you are not looking for a BFF, you are looking for a person to help your company. In a competitive job market, some “selling” by hiring managers is very beneficial in landing the best personnel,” Jasensky went on to say.
To find candidates who could help your organization or to get more recommendations about personnel matters, Jasensky can be reached at (216) 226-8190 or Don@AutomotivePersonnel.Careers.