For instance, have you ever been to a major bookstore and looked over the number of books available on the subject of jobs? There are dozens upon dozens of them telling people how to write a great resume; how to handle themselves in the interview; even what questions they should ask of the prospective employer.
I strongly recommend you take an hour or so and peruse through some of these books.
These books serve a purpose but when I ask someone a question about their previous employment, I’m more interested in THEIR response as opposed to a response they found in a book.
You could go the direct route and ask your prospective employee if he has read any of these books and if so, to give you an idea of how much he’s studied up on this. Then, getting even more to the issue, you could ask how much of his responses to you may have been influenced by the books he read.
I believe it’s a very good thing your prospective employee wanted to be as prepared as possible for every part of the hiring process. He may have hired a resume writing service and he may have spent several hours drilling possible interview questions with a “coach” whose been around the hiring block.
I see this as a professional approach to getting hired. But these hiring tips are written with the employer in mind and there is something to be said for getting “unrehearsed” answers to your questions.
What if your applicant said, “yes, I read several books and spent a fair amount of time discussing with others how I should best answer certain questions.” If you get a very honest answer like that, I’d say, “Thank you for being very candid. Now, reviewing some of the things you said earlier, is there anything you’d like to revise?” Your applicant might say something like, “well, I mentioned earlier that I really enjoyed the learning experience at my previous job, but honestly I didn’t feel very challenged there. I feel I’ve got a ton of ability and I want to be working where I can maximize that ability.”
Well now, you’ve just peeled off a layer of the hiring onion and you’re getting more of the straight scoop that you’d like to see in the interview process.
Most of the time, people want to give you an unrehearsed answer to your question. Sometimes you just need to help them out a bit to do so.
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