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Jake Poses – 1000 Interviews Later: 5 Ways To Avoid Hiring Mistakes

Jake Poses, former VP of Product at Thumbtack, helped build the company from the ground up and took his team from 0 people to 50. To find those 50 needles in a haystack, Poses interviewed over 1000 people. From these interviews, Poses learned five lessons, all of which are invaluable to anyone hiring a new employee.

For the original article, follow this link: https://medium.com/@jakeposes/1000-interviews-later-5-ways-to-avoid-hiring-mistakes-b096466ec346

1. Try to Disprove Your Initial Impression.

It’s easy to form an impression about a candidate the minute they walk in, or within the first few minutes of an interview. We all do it. What we should be doing instead is trying to disprove those initial impressions throughout the interview process. Poses recommends asking follow up questions and rephrasing instructions to avoid jumping to conclusions and dismissing a candidate based on an impression.

2. More exercises. Less chitchat.

Communication is key, but can only tell you so much about a candidate. Problem solving, however, gives a fuller picture of a candidate’s abilities and how they would translate to an office environment. Poses has come to favor exercises, either in person or take-home, to better evaluate a candidate and understand their thinking.

3. Only test for the skills that matter.

All employers want the best of the best, but the best candidates are never perfect. Compiling an unrealistic list of requirements for a candidate doesn’t help. A candidate’s skill should align with the skills required for the job at hand, but they should not be expected to be great at everything. Poses suggests focusing on only those core skills during the interview process and keeping each conversation highly focused.

4. Understand what drives someone.

When interviewing, don’t waste time on candidates who don’t actually want to be there. Only hire someone who seems motivated and passionate about the role and the company. Additionally, this new hire should be well aligned with and suited to the role they are interviewing for. To evaluate how a candidate aligns with the role, first understand what drives them. Poses suggests asking the candidates about a time, at their most recent job, when they’d been engaged and excited to come to work. He then follows up by asking about a time at work when they had been frustrated and disengaged. If a candidate describes frustration with tasks at work relevant to the role they are interviewing for, they are likely not a good match.

5. Know that you are being evaluated too.

All interviewers should do their homework on each candidate, but the best candidates are also doing their homework on you, the interviewer. Staying engaged throughout the interview, posing thoughtful questions, and expressing passion for the company are all extremely important and help attract the right talent and passionate candidates.


A Note To Students: Interviewers aren’t the only ones who can learn from Jack Poses and his five lessons. Below are two short lessons for you.

1. Do Your Homework and Demonstrate Passion.

Before you arrive at an interview, know who is interviewing you and a little bit about them, know what the role entails, and know what the company does and values. Make sure you are aligned with those values and are excited about the role. Demonstrating this excitement and passion about the company and role during an interview is a great way to convey your interest and sets you apart from other candidates.

2. Make a Good First Impression.

First impressions can be hard, but correcting a poor first impression is even harder. Walk into your interview ready to impress your interviewer. Speak clearly and concisely, have a firm handshake, maintain eye contact, dress appropriately, remain engaged, focused, and confident.

For more information and interview tips, follow this link: https://www.vocate.me/blog/2017/02/07/interview-prep/

Liza Lindgren

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