Chapter 22. Don’t Just Evaluate Candidates on Skills

Jay Signorello

The penalties for hiring the wrong people can be enormous. So, it’s critical that you, as a manager, put a great deal of effort into creating and continuously refining your interview process with the goal of finding exceptional people. In the pursuit of finding great people, your focus areas for evaluating candidates will be one of the most important ways to differentiate between the best and worst candidates.

It’s not uncommon for a new manager to focus exclusively on skills required for the position. They craft their tests to determine whether the candidate has knowledge in a particular programming language, framework, and other technical areas. As they begin interviewing, they’ll get a false sense of security when they find many people who can’t complete the test, thinking that they’re doing a good job of filtering out poor candidates. Then, one candidate will come along and breeze right through the test. The manager thinks to themselves, “Wow, this person must be amazing.” So, they quickly hire them.

After a month or so on the job, however, the manager receives feedback from their team that this employee is difficult to work with and closed minded. Now the manager has their work cut out for them. They’ll need to work with the employee on interpersonal skills and try to align them on the team’s values. These ...

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