Top 7 Unique & Amazingly Useful Ways To Evaluate A Job Applicant
By Michael Mercer, Ph.D.
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Research proves pre-employment tests are the most accurate method to predict or forecast how an applicant may perform on-the-job. Plus, this is borne out in my 20+ years of research in developing and helping companies hire the best using pre-employment tests. I also research and helping managers evaluate job applicants using customize-designed interviews, bio-data, and other prediction methods.
From this extensive experience I also created seven unique – and amazingly useful – ways to evaluate job applicants. You can add these uncommon, ultra-useful job applicant prediction methods to your arsenal to help you hire the best.
- Politely Threaten The Job Applicant
Start job interviews with a polite warning: Tell the applicant you insist on getting honest answers. You might say something like this: “You need to hear something very important: If we hire you, and later discover anything you said in interviews or wrote on our forms is not honest, then we have may use your dishonesty as a reason to fire you.”
This warning is important, because many applicants ‘embellish’ the truth by claiming they are more wonderful than they truly are. Your polite threat as you start the job interview sets the tone that the applicant had better give you honest answers.
- Did The Job Applicant Work During High School?
In my extensive bio-data (biographical data) research – to custom-design job interviews for companies – I often conduct a bio-data survey of the company’s best employees. My research repeatedly uncovers that the huge majority of the best employees worked while in high school. It shows the applicant’s preference to work which often extends into adulthood.
If the applicant worked during high school, ask what the jobs entailed. This gives you clues into the type of work the applicant might like. For example, one company had me custom-design interviews for its delivery drivers. Lo-and-behold, its best drivers held high school jobs that entailed mechanics and physical labor, which shows a preference for actions a delivery driver must do. Another company had me custom-design its interviews for sales reps. My bio-data research found its best sales reps’ high school jobs entailed working with customers, such as being a restaurant waitperson or providing customer-service.
- Physical Appearance
A job applicant’s exterior tells an astute job interviewer a lot about the job applicant’s interior. You should examine three ingredients of physical appearance:
Did the applicant have the brains to show up for the interview looking as neat as you expects of your employees?
- Appropriate Attire
Did the job applicant show up wearing suitable clothing? For example, did a white-collar applicant for a white-collar job wear a suit and tie for a man or a business outfit for a woman? Did a blue-collar applicant come to the interview dressed o.k. for your company?
- Does the Applicant Look Like “Death Warmed Over?”
O.K. It is not nice and maybe not appropriate to make predictions about an applicant’s health. However, rising healthcare and insurance costs are due to some employees ringing up a lot of expensive medical bills. Fact: Healthy employees cost a company less for health insurance (plus time-off for illnesses) than unhealthy employees. Everyone knows this. But, managers may hesitate to see if an applicant looks like a walking, talking whopping healthcare bill.
Research supports this. In fact, “The Wall Street Journal” (5/14/08, page A-17) quoted the chief medical officer of Medco, which handles 20% of Americans’ prescription benefits, clearly describing physical appearance that predicts expensive illnesses, high prescription charges, and high healthcare bills. Wow! Apparently, a secret to lowering healthcare costs no longer is a secret.
- Sniff The Job Applicant
Yes, I realize this sounds funny, but it really helps you. Sniff for three inappropriate aromas:
Smokers waste time taking smoking-breaks. Smokers smell like smoke. Plus, while not all smokers are substance abusers, most substance abusers are smokers. So, if you do not hire smokers, you reduce your risk of hiring substance abusers. Also, pre-employment tests can help you predict if a job applicant may be a substance abuser.
If the job applicant exudes yucky body odor, that shows the person is “out to lunch.” Do you really want to hire someone who lacks basic personal awareness?
- Cologne or Perfume
Nowadays, it is 100% inappropriate to wear scents, such as cologne or perfume, in the workplace. Anyone who wears scents harms other employees and customers. Medical research proves that many people get headaches, horrible migraines, or allergic reactions when they are forced to smell someone else’s cologne and perfume. Answer this question: Would you let any employee play a loud radio, and force employees or customers to listen to their radio? Of course, you never would allow that. Well, perfume- or cologne-wearing employees rudely force other people to smell their scents at your company. How distasteful! So, sniff job applicants to discover if the person is aware of basic manners to show up scent-free.
- Examine The Job Applicant’s Cash
This nifty job applicant evaluation method that tells you a lot about the person’s organization and neatness, or lack thereof. How? Ask the applicant to see the cash in his or her wallet. When they pull out their cash, see if all the bills face in the same direction. You will find organized people make all their cash face in one direction. Disorganized people have some bills face one way and other bills face another way. Note: You cannot ask for samples (ha-ha).
- Applicant Not Currently Working Their Family’s Business
Currently, is the applicant working in a business owned by their own family? My research uncovered frequent problems when companies hire job applicants who are leaving their own family’s business to get a job elsewhere. First, many people working in their family’s business are used to huge leeway in work hours, days off, and doing personal chores during the workday. They often expect to get away with such stunts, yet still keep their job. When you hire a person who has gotten away with such actions, that may be someone who wants you to give leeway in terms of work hours, days off, and doing personal chores at work. Also, you must wonder about someone who cannot stay and help grow a business owned by their own flesh-and-blood.
- Does The Job Applicant Have 1 Key Paycheck Amount?
You can benefit from learning three ways applicants view pay. First, applicants feel thrilled by a job that will pay them more than they previously earned. Second, applicants will feel so-so, yawn, big-deal, and who-cares if a new job pays them the same as their previous job. Third, applicants hate and feel little loyalty to a company that pays them less than they earned before. Lesson: Focus on filling the job with a good applicant who will earn more from you than he or she previously earned. Additional problem and solution: Job applicants often lie about their earnings. So, politely warn the applicant that dishonesty about earnings may result in de-employment if the applicant is hired and, later, the dishonesty is uncovered.
Michael Mercer, Ph.D., is Americas Hire the Best Expert. He wrote 5 books, including Hire the Best -- & Avoid the Rest. Dr. Mercer also created pre-employment tests. Many companies use those pre-employment tests. He is a frequent speaker at conferences, and he also delivers many training seminars at companies. You can receive his no cost 14-page Special Report on How to Hire Winners plus get your own no cost subscription to his Management Newsletter at phone = 847-382-0690 or http://www.Pre-EmploymentTests.com
Article Submitted On: May 21, 2008