Do you become infatuated in a job interview?

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Hiring for fit is a legitimate recruitment tactic but don’t be bowled away by someone’s sparkling personality, warns one leading HR professional – ensure the skills are there too.

“During an interview process, it’s really easy to become infatuated with someone,” says LUSH retail support manager Elisia Gray. “Especially if they come into an interview and they’ve got a French accent, and they have a cat and you have a cat, and they just told you in passing that they’re a drummer in a rock band, and they’re this wonderful, charming person but actually when it comes to the skill level required of the job, it’s not quite there.”

Gray recruits for head office roles and retail managers across New Zealand and Australia – she says it’s important not to let someone’s personality cloud your judgement.

“One of the things I’m really conscious of is not to become infatuated with a person during the interview process and really making sure that they have the will and the passion for the brand and that the skill is there as well,” she told HRM.

“The importance of people being able to do what they say they can do is imperative,” she added.
Gray says one of the most effective ways of making sure someone has the skills to back up their claims is to offer everyone – no matter what the position – a trial shift.

“Conducting trial shifts is something we do for all positions at LUSH so a manager won’t just have an interview but then they’ll also have a trial on the shop floor to make sure they can do all the things they say they can do,” she told HRM. “Even if it’s a graphic designer role at LUSH, we’ll interview but then we’ll invite them in to spend some time in the office as well.”

She also says behavioural questions may be a better indicator of what a candidate can really do.
“I’m definitely a big believer in behavioural-based questions, ones based on past experience,” she said. “It is a really good indicator of how someone will behave in the prospective role.”

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