10 Ways To Vet a Candidate

What is your favorite way to vet a candidate?

To help find good ways to vet a candidate, we asked HR experts and business leaders this question for their best tactics. From checking their references to asking the right kind of questions in their interviews, there are several ways that may help you vet your potential candidates in the future.

Here are ten ways to vet a candidate:

  • Follow Fair Practices
  • Check Their References
  • Pre-Interview Questions
  • Ask The “Why You?” Question
  • Treat Them Like a Real Person
  • Interview Them More Than Once
  • Dialogue Through Curiosity
  • Scour Their Social Media
  • Try the 8 Question Interview
  • Ask About Past Experiences & Situations

Follow Fair Practices 

The best way to vet candidates is to ensure a fair, legal, and consistent hiring process. From writing job advertisements, to screening calls and resumes, to interviewing applicants, managers should be trained on how to follow fair practices and prevent discrimination in the hiring process
Andrew Rawson, Traliant

Check Their References

It may seem old school, but you can learn a lot about a candidate from performing reference checks. Regardless of whether you are speaking to their colleagues, bosses, or even college professors, you can get a solid understanding of their skills, work ethic, and even the “stuff you wish you knew before hiring them.” Ultimately, it is an extra hour or two that can make you that much more confident about extending an offer to them!

Randall Smalley, Cruise America

Pre-Interview Questions

When vetting job applicants, it is important to balance your desires for an “ideal hire” with the functional/technical requirements of the job as well as the realities of what the market may dictate. One of the best ways is to focus on the skills that will allow a candidate to meet the functional requirements of the job and then secondarily examine the experience and traits that will make a candidate a good fit for the job and your company. A great method for vetting applicants is sending technical questions to all qualified applicants to complete within 24-48 hours. This way, you can begin to verify applicant skill levels and eliminate unqualified candidates without wasting time interviewing them.

Ronald Kubitz, Forms+Surfaces

Ask the “Why You?” Question

One of my favorite questions to ask a candidate at the end of the interview is, “Out of all the candidates we are interviewing, why should we hire you over anyone else?” This typically isn’t something they have practiced or even expected, so you tend to get an honest reflection as to why they are the best candidate. Passion for the work or the company is something I’m hoping will surface, which helps candidates stand out from the rest. Making sure they really want the role is one great way to vet them against other qualified candidates. 

Jenn Christie, Markitors

Treat Them Like a Real Person

Marketing and talent branding has become one of the most impactful ways we attract talent. We are relentlessly focused on giving our candidates an unrivaled experience. When you treat your talent like no one else, you attract talent like no one else. This comes down to talking like an actual person during interactions and leaving the corporate double-speak in the past. Also, anticipating their needs throughout the process will create a level of comfort between candidates and recruiters as there is a level of expectation that regardless of the outcome, they will feel heard. We gave this a try and saw how much more candid our possible future hires became.

Steven Brown, DP Electric Inc

Interview Them More Than Once

I look for coherent behavior across time, space, online and offline. In recruiting for senior positions, I find it useful to see a candidate several times, preferably in different circumstances. Other than video, phone, and office interviews, you can meet a candidate for lunch. Observe their behavior in different surroundings and how they interact with others. I find that consistency in different settings is a good sign.

Katarzyna Richter, Deal With Culture

Dialogue Through Curiosity 

After helping a person feel more at ease, I let them know that I’m intentionally remaining curious…so I ask follow-up questions. My intent isn’t to ‘quiz’ them but to discover, learn, and better understand. Once they feel heard, seen, and respected, I’m consistently amazed at what we both can learn and understand from a few curious follow-up questions. This benefits the company too since many hired still remain happy & productive to this day.

Jeff Dibble, People & Culture Leader

Scour Their Social Media 

Combing through a candidate’s social media profiles is one of the best ways to get a real feel for the type of person they are. In an interview and on a resume, a candidate will, of course, always put their best face forward. How they behave on social media will be more authentic and show a candidate’s true personality.

Jessica Wise, HelpSquad

Try The 8 Question Interview 

When it comes to vetting early talent, quantitative measures such as GPA and competency-based behavioral interviews can only get you so far. For years I’ve used an 8-Question Interview to learn about these savvy newbies. Topics include their professional history, strengths, needs, lessons learned, brands earned, and the value they can bring to the company. 

Tim Toterhi, Plotline Leadership

Ask About Past Experiences & Situations

Our favorite way to vet a candidate is through behavioral interviewing. We use a behavioral-based interview method throughout the hiring process as past behavior is the best predictor of future behavior. In Behavioral Interviewing, you frame the questions in a way that allows the candidate to speak to situations that have happened in the past: “Can you tell me about a time…” or “Can you share an example of when you…”. This method is effective as it allows the interviewer to find out how a candidate has responded to relevant situations in the past.

Rachel Cohen, Red Clover

Terkel creates community-driven content featuring expert insights. Sign up at terkel.io to answer questions and get published. 

Share this