How to interview a promising recruit

This is a post from PRISM’s Social Army – regular briefings on topics aligned to our business or close to our hearts. Today’s entry is from PRISM’s Global HR Director, Jackie Madincea.  

I often get asked what our standard interview methods are for potential PRISMatics and I never can answer that question. The truth is that every interview is unique and a good interview should seem more like a good conversation and not like a grilling.

Obviously there is key information you want to ask based upon a CV but after 20 years of doing this, I now know it is much more important to look for what is not on the CV versus what is, and you only discover this from having a good conversation. I can’t count the number of times I have seen the “perfect” CV, only to discover that everything about that person is on one sheet of paper and that is it. It is a much more interesting interview to find the candidate who has an average CV but comes into an interview prepared, knowledgeable, multi-dimensional  and full of enthusiasm.

At PRISM, we rarely hire anyone without at least two interviews. It is a time-consuming process but it is amazing how often interviewers disagree on candidates. I consider that a good thing as everyone has a different dynamic with each candidate and the more consensus you have on a particular person, the better chance that he or she is going to be a great hire.

Our methods of interviewing are always varied and evolving. For more senior candidates, they are often presented with a current PRISM business challenge and tasked to address the challenge and formally present to members of the leadership team. We have had many candidates stumble at this hurdle but it gives us a perspective on how well they understand the challenges we face and how well they can present their thoughts to their peers.

But don’t think that we make it easy for the younger members of our team. Our last class of Young Lions, PRISM’s internship programme, had to endure a recruitment day that included a group exercise and presentation with fellow candidates and a “speed interview” where they had five-minute interviews with a team of PRISM members. The best just rose to the top by the end of the day making our selection so much easier.

Culture-fit will always be important at PRISM. However, it is not about finding 50 people that are all alike. It is about identifying that unique skill that someone can bring to the team that no one else in our current team has, or identifying young talent that can grow quickly with the team. I often compare it to putting a piece of puzzle into a jigsaw. Not only do you fill a blank space but it makes all of the other pieces around it stronger and united and the picture becomes clearer!

As Global HR Director, ultimately that is the most important thing I can do for the company.

Jackie Madincea 

October 25, 2017