Whether you’re looking for a friendly receptionist or an essential vice president, finding the best people for your business can be stressful. Hiring is an investment, and you don’t want to wait a month into that person’s position only to realize that your new employee is not the right match. Luckily, there are methods you can use during the interview process to gain a more holistic view of your applicant before making that final decision. Here are a few ways to maximize the interview process and select the best candidate.

Getting a Clear Read

Have you ever opened a resume and were greeted by a confusing layout, unexplained gaps in employment, and an unreadable font? The truth is: an applicant who doesn’t correctly format a document that is all about them is unlikely to deliver a strong effort for your company. It’s their one time to shine, and confidence is key. Self-assurance is not only limited to the actual interview itself; A professional and concise one-page resume is all that’s needed to convey one’s abilities, skills, and education. Be on the lookout for any spelling mistakes that should have been corrected before the document hit your desk. Next, check for a description of the tasks completed at previous companies and see if the dates listed for every position reflect a consistent work history. Gaps in employment may be more common due to the COVID-19 pandemic, but applicants should be able to explain that time between jobs during the interview process. If there are no dates listed at all, that’s a red flag for a candidate who doesn’t want you to know those details.

You can also tell how much research the applicant has conducted on your company based on the contents of their cover letter. For example, you might see paragraphs that demonstrate a visit to your website and a connection to your company’s mission. When you read a thoughtfully crafted application, you will be better prepared to find future employees who care about the details and are prepared to work hard for your company.

Standing Out in Small Ways

Once you schedule to meet in person, you want to see how the interviewee further presents those ideas mentioned in their cover letter in connection with the questions you ask. Consider asking the potential hire to bring a hard copy of their resume with them. You’ll notice that some people will brush over their experience as if they don’t want you to look very closely. A better fit is a candidate who walks you through their document because they are proud of their work and accomplishments.

It can be difficult to determine a person’s true character with a short one-on-one meeting, but there may be moments in which the interviewee showcases their genuine spirit. Asking questions about what they are passionate about or why they even showed up to the interview can provide key insights in getting to know your applicant. A good fit for the position is someone who candidly expresses their views and can explain how their professional goals align with your company’s interests. Opening the interview for questions provides the candidate with an opportunity to pose any queries about your organization’s vision. If the interviewee seems intrigued by your response, they will likely show interest in this job for years to come. To further ponder if the applicant is right for the position, instead of debating with yourself in the mirror, reach out to your current staff for a second opinion. You might ask your receptionist about the candidate’s behavior as they left the building. Were they kind and excited to have their foot in the door (hopefully not literally), or were they disrespectful and abrasive? Body language says more than words ever can.

Finally, the way an applicant follows up after the in-person meeting can showcase their curiosity about your company. A thank you email is thoughtful and efficient, but a handwritten note adds a personal touch. Pay close attention to what each message says. Are there specific moments from the interview that the candidate appreciated? See if they reiterate their interest in the position, including why they think they’d be the best fit. A simple thank you can showcase a person’s kindness and make them stand out from the crowd.

Overall, finding the right employees for your company is an exhausting process. However, when you read through their resume and ask about their passions, the most suitable applicant for the position will become clear to you. Take the time to spot those clean and readable applications, and the most detail-oriented candidates will stand out. Additionally, by drawing your attention to those interviewees who are considerate of you, your staff, and the company’s mission, you’ll have an easier time finding team players who respect others and enjoy the work they do. As you look for what sets a potential hire above the rest, the interview process becomes more efficient than ever as you select the best candidate.