As you sift through stacks of resumes and listen carefully to candidate statements during interviews, how heavily do you weigh each element of a given applicant’s profile? You might be searching for signs of relevant experience, or signs of clear confidence and competence in specific skill areas. If you’re like most hiring managers, you’re also keeping an eye out for red flags and indicators of potential trouble. But if you aren’t adding personality traits into the mix, you may be missing out on excellent candidates and placing too much value on potential mismatches.

During the hiring process, personality matters. And while there are no inherently “good” or “bad” personalities (usually) there are definitely traits that can indicate a match or misalignment with your existing workplace culture. Pay close attention and keep these tips in mind.

Learn from the past.

Remember three years ago, when you hired that sunny, cheerful, well-meaning go-getter who proved to be a terrible fit and left the company within a few months? Remember how the newbie disrupted your dynamic and alienated every member of an otherwise functional group? What exactly went wrong? Cheerful go-getters (or competitive winners who always get straight a’s, or hard-charging change-drivers) may seem like a perfect bet, but if they don’t fit in, they won’t work out. And if they get restless or bored, they won’t stay. Don’t choose generic traits that seem great on the surface; choose traits that actually work for your team.

Ask the candidate what makes them happy.

An interview is not an academic exam, and the candidate isn’t on trial. This isn’t a one-way, pass-fail assessment. It’s a conversation, and if the candidate won’t be happy here, both of you should recognize this upfront. Make sure you clearly understand what your candidate needs and wants, and if you’re not sure you can offer these things, discuss this possibility in an open, honest, and respectful way.

How well do you get along?

If you’ll be directly supervising your candidate once they’re hired, think about this during the interview. Imagine chatting with this person on a daily basis, and working together with him on problems and issues that require close cooperation. Can you see this happening? Do you enjoy this person’s company? Do you have any interests in common, or a similar sense of humor? Pay attention to the rhythm, pace, and mood of the conversation. If this dialogue feels fluid and functional to you, make a note of it. If you’re feeling too many awkward pauses and uncomfortable misunderstandings, don’t expect this to go away once the person is hired.

For more on how to make the most of your interviews and choose the best applicants for your open positions, reach out to the Texas staffing professionals at Expert.

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