Tips for separating talkers from doers when interviewing candidates for your real estate office or team.
Hiring decisions are a business element that firms can’t afford to get wrong, according to Dave Carvajal, author of the upcoming book “Hire Smart From the Start.” Yet many managers lack training on how to hire strategically. Instead, they rely on instinct or even family or friend allegiance.
“Everything that is good is from having good people on your team,” says Carvajal, warning that many companies are quick to hire top producers from other firms, people who are recommended by peers, or applicants who make a stellar first impression.
Watch out for these 5 candidate types:
1. Posers and pretenders: They tend to have excessive pride and envy, but secretly, they’re insecure and scared of being exposed for their inadequacies.
How to spot: They come across as extremely confident. “But their mask may slip if you press them on problems that occurred under their watch at previous jobs,” Carvajal warns. “If they become defensive or scapegoat others, that’s a sign that they’re hiding something behind their mask.”
2. Political beasts: These applicants have a history of being game players and power seekers. They are quick to align themselves with the most influential people in an organization. They excel at getting others to do work for them, and their charm can take them a long way.
How to spot: They love to name-drop. They tend to express enthusiasm only for high-level tasks and display a disregard for less glamorous aspects of a job. “They betray an elitist, entitled sensibility,” Carvajal explains. “They may articulate this subtly during the recruitment process, dismissing less prestigious jobs and companies, acting as if they deserve the job rather than making a case for themselves.”
3. Troublemakers: They tend to be overly judgmental and are quick to blame others when things go wrong. They aren’t team players. They like to create tension and manufacture problems.
How to spot: They have opinions about everyone and everything. They are quick to tell you the things that are wrong with their former employer or with your company. At first, they may appear perceptive and analytical with their keen ability to point out flaws. “But the mask they wear is one of competence, when in fact, they are only adept at pointing out things that are wrong,” Carvajal explains. They lack the ability to achieve consensus and solve problems.
4. Lone wolves: They tend to have a “me-first” attitude, and they aren’t good at listening to others. After all, they believe they alone can achieve a goal. Their own personal agendas take the lead over the firm’s. They may be good in certain roles, but they can alienate coworkers in team settings.
How to spot: They tend to come across as agreeable, but when pushed, they can show anger. Demand answers to tough questions, and you may start to see them get uncomfortable, Carvajal says. They tend to use the word “I” a lot in talking about accomplishments.
5. Showboats: You’ll love these types of candidates from the minute you meet them. They are nice people—affable and open-minded. But when it comes to work, they tend to underperform, only working at about a 30 percent capacity, Carvajal says. They have active social lives, while their work constantly takes a backseat. Their love for socializing can become a distraction in the workplace.
How to spot: They seem like the perfect team player. During an interview, however, ask the applicant to describe a project in which he or she worked around the clock to meet a deadline. If the candidate starts rationalizing why it’s not necessary to work as hard (for instance, “I’ve always found I can get my work done twice as fast as most people”), you may have a showboat.