Joe’s communication style is to never say he knows something until he has all the detail and facts.  Sandra’s communication style is to say she knows how to do it when faced with a challenge.  She will figure it out.

Both communication styles say things on interview like; familiar with, exposed to, introduced to, no problem, etc…  If a hiring manager does not ask them to elaborate as to what they are familiar with or have no problem with, both parties may be in for a big surprise if the person is hired.  Why?  Because both parties made assumptions, and a whole lot of nothing was covered.

Hiring Manager:  “We use Sage 100.”

Candidate for job: “I am familiar with it.”

The candidate’s definition of familiar could be they have heard of it, saw a demo once or googled it before they interviewed because they saw in the job description – “Sage 100 a plus.”

A better response from a candidate would be specifically defining that familiarity.

Hiring Manager:  “We use Sage 100.”

Candidate for job: “At XYZ company I used Sage 300, Timberline and at ABC company I used CMIC.  I used the estimating, accounting and project management modules weekly.  I was part of the team at XYZ company that selected and implemented the software along with overseeing the conversion and training other team members.”

Even if the candidate for the job had the other end of the spectrum for experience, they are always better off stating the truth.

Hiring Manager: “We use Sage 100.”

Candidate for job: “We used Microsoft project and custom excel spreadsheets at my last two employers.”

The truth eliminates all false expectations.

With either response, a new employee will need training on the software and procedures at the new company. The right questions and answers on interview, not only covers the baseline of experience, but also the need and willingness to learn.

Our career matchmakers are trained on the principles to verify verses justify, and that talk is cheap.  There are no wrong answers, but there are wrong employment matches.  If a company is not known to provide much training, they need to hire the candidate with previous experience who can ramp up quickly with little guidance.  If a company has a detailed training program, then things like software and differences in past processes are not as relevant.  What is relevant is the willingness of the candidate to learn and follow their new employer’s program, instead of reverting back to the former.

The interview process is a lost opportunity when not utilized to evaluate these essential experiences, skills and attributes. The cost of a bad hire is significant, especially so in the construction industry. The Career Matchmakers at Florida Construction Connection help to mitigate that risk by verifying and asking the follow-up questions to truly understand what a candidate is saying. As an employer, it is necessary that you prepare for the interview process and ask the follow-up questions without relying on assumptions based on your years of experience. Understanding the strengths, weaknesses and opportunities of a candidate will better set you up for success from the start.


Hiring Manager

Give Examples

Ask for Examples

Provide Clarification

Clarify Responses

Eliminate Expectations

Define Expectations

Know Your Deal Breakers

Know Your Deal Breakers

Don’t Settle

Don’t Settle

Whether verifying on your own or working with a firm to help you source and mitigate risk clarification and verification are key.

To a match made in interview,

Suzanne Breistol

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