Dear HR Executive,
Obviously, a well prepared hiring manager always thoroughly reviews a candidate’s resume before the interview.
So why would you, or one of your line managers, ask the person to talk you through the resume? Aren't you wasting valuable time on repetition?
Nope. The fact is, this exercise can yield a bonanza of information about the candidate’s communication skills.
What to look for
As the candidate talks, consider:
- Is the person a good speaker? Does he speak assertively or hesitantly? Does he make eye contact? Also observe body language. Is she sitting with crossed arms or in a relaxed posture? The former may indicate something’s being hidden.
- Is the candidate a good presenter? If asked to speak for five minutes does she drone on for 20? Or zip through in two? Does this person organize his thoughts well?
- Does the candidate gloss over ambiguous areas of the resume or take the opportunity to explain them? Addressing resume gaps directly shows confidence while avoiding them may signal trouble spots.
- Does the candidate speak positively or negatively about former employers and colleagues? Does he or she take sole credit for successes?
Tuning in to the signals
If you listen carefully during the resume recap, you'll often turn up strong "buy" or "avoid" signals that weren't evident from the paper or electronic file you first looked at.
Have you ever found out something important -- positive or negative -- by asking an applicant to speak his or her resume during the interview? If so, we'd love for you to share it. Send us a comment.
HR Rapid Learning Center