Blog & Industry Feed
Getting past the gatekeepers – HR Screening
You feel tired and yet you know you are approaching the goal line of getting your new job. What stands between you and a touchdown is an HR director ready to stop you at the 1-yard line! So here are a few tips to help you get past the gatekeeper and have a successful interview process.
Why do so many HR people put emphasis on having relevant experience? It is because this is the easiest way to investigate whether or not a candidate is suitable for the job. Is it fair to judge by this criterion only? Of course not, but nothing is fair in love and war and job searching! For one thing, there are many components of past success. So remind the HR contact that it is a varied evaluation that must take into consideration past management support, industry conditions and the company's market position. Don’t forget to use these points in your interview.
Experienced HR staff look for candidates with the ability to summarize and learn from past experiences, and to use that knowledge to adapt to future similar, or even dissimilar, problems and situations. The HR contact will ask the candidate behavioral questions to see if they evaluated their own success and obstacles in past jobs. Be on the lookout for these questions…"If a colleague in another department disliked your staff, how would you handle the situation” “If you are involved in a difficult task, what do you do”…"If your boss was concerned about a complaint from a customer then how would you handle." You will definitely know when these questions are being asked of you.
How can HR professionals discern character traits of a person? Either they conduct a personality test or they simply ask questions to test the candidate's core system of values. HR people might ask where the candidate would go if they had a long vacation, and why they chose that place.
There is not always a definitive match between a particular job and a particular personality type. Job designers have to think about the subtle and unique nature of each job, and then decide what specific attributes a person needs to be a good fit for the position.
It is wise to prepare yourself for predictable tests before you attend a job interview. It is not difficult to find out if the company plans to administer tests to you. Ask the HR staff about this. Sometimes, the tests are scheduled as a separate session in a series of interviews. Just make sure you ask your prospective employer about tests, and be prepared for any tests they give you. Knock out your competition!