Why I look potential new recruits in the eyes and laugh

When I am interviewing potential candidates for my company, in many cases, I find I end up sitting across from them and laugh. Don’t you? I think everyone should laugh during interviews. I am not laughing at the candidate, I am laughing with them.

During some of the early interviews in my career, I’d  sit across from the interview(s) at a boardroom table and I would be asked a series of questions.

How do you deal with stress? Who signs off on a Charter? Have you ever created a 5000 line project plan? (And the ever dreaded) What’s your worst character trait? You could set your clock and after 25 or 40 minutes (depending on how long the interview was), do you have any questions?

What I am realizing now is that in most cases, how you answered the question was more important than what you answered. Although early on in everyone’s career, the answers were important.

At my company, the Paradigm Consulting Group Inc (PCGI), we traditionally hire intermediate to senior resources. All of our resources have been in the industry for many years. I typically don’t need to confirm their ability to perform their chosen profession. Their previous employers and their duration at each tell me that story.

I prefer to find out more about the person and how they will culturally fit within our organization. This is probably one of the most important attributes I look for.

I spend a significant amount of time in recruiting for our Winnipeg office and I prefer to throw out all the rules for an interview. I consider it two interviews at once; I am interviewing the candidate and they are interviewing Paradigm (and I as their representative).

I prefer to meet candidates at a local coffee shop (Grande Light Roast with room

please). During the course of our conversation, we chat about my company and their career. Early on, most candidates are a bit nervous and traditionally answer the way they “should”. But during our conversation, the mood lightens, we end up talking more casually about our work experiences and usually end up laughing about some of the silly stuff that has happened in the past. This is where I really learn about each of the candidates.

After my meeting, I have a pretty strong sense of how each candidate would perform in those stressful situations, I’ve found out how they interact with sponsors, hope they say that they would never create a 5000 line project plan and also hope that they state that they work too hard sometimes.

I am fortunate that I also have a very positive message to share about my company. If you are interested learning more about the Paradigm Consulting Group and working in either our Regina, Winnipeg or Saskatoon practices, I would like to sit down with you, grab a coffee, and look you in the eye and laugh WITH you.

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