Candidates misrepresent their abilities for a variety of reasons during the hiring process...
Sometimes, they're trying to mislead.
More often, they're just unaware, causing them to over-estimate their own ability and/or under-estimate what's truly required for the job.
A way around this problem is to ask the candidate to actually perform a core task associated with the job before you hire them.
So what kind of tasks should you ask them to do?
1) TASKS THEY'RE GOING TO HAVE TO DO OVER AND OVER AGAIN
Every job has certain tasks that an employee must perform repeatedly...
For example, cold calling (in sales), using excel (in accounting), etc.
Because of the sheer repetition, if a hire can't do that thing at some base level, it's going to end poorly.
And if they can do the task even slightly better than the next person - because it's repeated repeatedly - it's going to have a large impact over time.
2) TASKS THAT ARE MISSION-CRITICAL
Every job has a few tasks that are the most crucial and/or difficult.
Often the bulk of job performance hinges on getting them right...
For example, making a complex decision (for a manager), handling a difficult customer call (in customer support), etc.
Testing a candidate's ability to perform that key task should be the anchor of your hiring process (at least if you're focused on hiring for performance).
The main point is don't wait to find out a candidate's skill level.
>Assuming a person can do something from their resume or work experience will fail you.
>Asking them to "tell you about a time they did X" will too.
>But asking them to actually do that thing is one of the best ways to truly know.
Have you seen this principle play out in your own organization's hiring?
Please reach out if you'd like ideas for how to apply this to your own hiring process. I promise there's a way - no matter the position.