The characteristics of job applicants have a strong influence on whether or not they get hired. Their characteristics also indicate the level of their productivity. If you are about to hire employees, consider the characteristics listed below in checklist form. The candidates who possess them are probably the ones who will be readily accepted by your staff. This acceptance plays an important role in the team-building process and the productivity of the staff.
( ) Appearance: An applicant whose physical characteristics, dress, and presence are pleasant, neat, and attractive sets a positive influence. Caution: Overemphasis on his or her appearance may be a cover-up of some vital shortcomings. Avoid being sidetracked and distorting the evaluation process.
( ) Self-confidence: An applicant who demonstrates self-confidence, who appears sure of himself (or herself), who professes a full competence about the job, or who projects his assurance to others, will probably impress the interviewer and is likely to be secure in his feelings about himself and his ability to do his job. Caution: This display is just an indicator; the true test comes during the probationary period.
( ) Fluency of Expression: An applicant who knows his (or her) job and can discuss it easily wins the active listening ear of the interviewer. This type of knowledge easily impresses most interviewers. Caution: Beware of glib applicants who can use the right terms and expressions, but who have no real depth knowledge. Responsible interviewers usually look for and spot these bluffers. By asking probing questions, they determine the legitimate applicants with real knowledge of the field.
( ) Alertness: An applicant possessing a vast degree appeal in this area is someone who is always on his (or her) toes. Alert, sparkling applicants see beyond the ordinary, are usually dynamic, and are exciting people who give their all to their job. Caution: Alert interviewers are alert enough to watch for the bluffers.
( ) Maturity: Age is not necessarily a factor of maturity. Applicants who are mature do not show self-pity for what they do not know. In fact, they are ready to discuss their weak and strong points so that they may take the necessary steps to minimize their weak ones and maximize the strong ones. Maturity is an attitude, not an age factor.
( ) Sense of Humor: An applicant with a sense of humor looks on the bright side of things, smiles when it is appropriate, does not tell inappropriate jokes, responds appropriately to the interviewer's humor, and does not laugh obscenely. He (or she) is easy to work with and helps to create a positive and motivational workplace. Caution: Beware of the overjoyed applicant who makes a joke out of everything.
( ) Intelligence: Although some aspects of intelligence may be measured by tests, the intelligent applicant projects his (or her) smarts in a normal and natural fashion. He is sharp, answers to the point, reacts sensibly to the interviewer's questions, and his responses are clear and concise. Caution: Beware of the faker who quotes statistics and uses inhouse expressions.
( ) Warmth: An applicant who enhances the interview process, who connects emotionally with the interviewer, and who demonstrates a genuine concern for people is someone who most likely will be accepted by his (or her) peers, supervisors, and customers. Caution: This very important asset is a major ingredient in the hiring process; but beware of the difficulty of measuring this among all applicants.
( ) Sensitivity to Feedback: An applicant who take time to learn and understand the job and the organization, who understands and responds to comments and body language is someone who is most likely to use this characteristic on the job. His (or her) sensitivity to feedback may be another manifestation of his warmth or intelligence. It reflects a person who is tops in interpersonal relations.
( ) Naturalness: An applicant who is natural and relaxed probably has a more integrated personality, but avoid prejudging the nervous twitches of the applicant. Caution: An overtly tense applicant's appeal may be smothered in a series of coughs, or concealed by a case of the squirming interview jitters. To reach such an applicant and to determine what latent appeal exists beneath his (or her) uneasiness calls for patience and particular skills on the part of the interviewer.
Use this checklist to help you assess your applicants’ appeal, his suitability for your place of business. The checklist will give you a strong indication as to where his weaknesses and strengths lie. Use it as a guide.
Remember: When you maximize your potential, everyone wins. When you don't, we all lose.
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Etienne A. Gibbs, MSW, Management Consultant and Trainer, conducts seminars, lectures, and writes articles on his theme: ". . . helping you maximize your potential. " He offers management resources at http://www.MaximizingYourPotential.blogspot.com .