Focusing on Job Applicant Behavior for Better Hires – Instant Hiring Video Tips

Discover the “red flags” that can alert you to future problems from job applicants.


If you want to give yourself an idea of how an applicant will behave once he or she is hired, do yourself a favor and pay some attention to their behavior during the hiring process. Keep in mind that an applicant should be on their very best behavior during the hiring process so anything other than that should be a red flag.

In particular, beware of people who are creating problems for you during the application and hiring process. For example, they are not following your directions when it comes to submitting the appropriate paperwork; they’re difficult when it comes to setting up a first or second interview claiming that their schedule is so busy that they can’t fit you in.

Other red flags can be applicants who deliberately create challenges and obstacles for you during the application and hiring process. Some hiring managers think it’s a good idea to have applicants fill out an employment application to see how thorough they are at filling it out. If you have to reach out to an applicant to get a hold of critical documents or information that should’ve been provided beforehand, chances are that applicant will require a lot of hand-holding and supervision as an employee as well and who has time for that?

Applicants should be jumping through hoops to meet any requirements you’ve established for the position. After all, they’re the one looking for a job right?

In my experience and in my client’s experience things only go downhill when poor behavior is exhibited during the application and hiring process.

People are generally on their best behavior during the hiring process so it should be a red flag when you see anything other than that. An applicant that gives you grief during the application process will probably also give you problems should you choose to hire them. Generally speaking, you can expect their behavior to get worse and deteriorate over time.

For better hires, keep an eye on an applicant’s behavior during your application and hiring process and don’t be afraid to trust your gut if you start to see some red flags.

Checking References – Instant Hiring Video Tip

Learn a simple and quick technique that maximizes the quality and quantity of information that you get from job applicant references.

Tips for Checking References

If you’ve ever had to check references on an applicant, you probably already know how much of a hassle it can be and just as important how unproductive it can be as well. Either the person on the other end doesn’t want to talk to you, doesn’t have the time or is severely limited in what she can say about past employees due to restrictions from the legal department.

For example, have you ever called to check on a reference and asked the person on the other end,
“How was Mary Smith when she worked for you?”

And they give you a lukewarm response after hemming and hawing for a second or two like:

“Ummm… She was ok, she was alright. She was a good employee.”

Well, unfortunately, that basically tells you absolutely nothing and was essentially a huge waste of your time. You’re no closer to knowing if Mary will be a good hire for you or not.

Here’s a tip on how you can hire better employees and get more out of the time you spend checking references. By making small tweaks to the questions you ask references, you can extract a lot more information out of them and better assess if the applicant will be good hire or not.

General questions like, “How was Mary Smith when she worked for you?” tend to generate canned responses and that’s obviously not what you’re looking for so instead consider asking more specific questions. More specific and detailed questions also tend to take people out of “canned response” mode since they have to think about the question to answer it and now you’re getting closer to the type of information you need to make a good assessment on an applicant.

So instead of a vague and general question, consider asking something like: “Compared to Mary’s peers, describe to me Mary’s ability to deal with change?” Now this is a pretty specific question that you’re going to get an answer to one way or the other. The key now is to listen attentively to both the response and how they respond. Often, it’s not what a reference tells you but how they say it and what they don’t tell you that’s more important.
And the key to getting the most out of references is asking the right questions.

“What are the right questions?”

Check out my post and video on How to Define Job Expectations. You should already know which key skills, characteristics and traits will make for an ideal employee… The right question is any question which elicits a response from the reference and helps you determine whether or not the applicant has the key skills you’re looking for.

How to Define Job Expectations for Better Hires – Instant Hiring Video Tip

Setting clear job expectations BEFORE you start recruiting ends up saving you a tremendous amount of time and hassles.


One of the keys to consistently making better hires time after time is knowing exactly which characteristics, attributes and skills you’re looking for and then making sure the candidate you ultimately hire has “it”. This requires a thorough knowledge of the position you’re hiring for.

Too often I see companies using outdated job descriptions in jobs ads and that leads to potential candidates and hiring managers focusing on irrelevant and unrelated criteria. And unfortunately that typically leads to bad hires.

First and foremost, it’s key that you have a good idea of which key skills and attributes will increase a potential hires chance for success. If you don’t already know, ask employees in your company who work closely with that position which skills or attributes they think are essential for success. During exit interviews ask departing employees what they felt made it easy for them to do well in their position if they’re leaving on good terms of course.

An updated job description is also must. Look over the job description. What are the key functions and duties the position performs? What key skills and attributes will facilitate that?

Does the person need to be organized?

Do they need to be detail orientated?

Do they need to be creative?

Do they need to be able to write code?

Once you’ve determined what key skills and attributes your ideal candidate will possess, I recommend placing your focus on finding candidates that have what you’re looking for. Your chances for finding employees who will perform well for you should be greatly improved.

Administrative Assistant Hiring Tips – Instant Hiring Video Tip

Are you in the process of hiring an administrative assistant? Don’t make that job offer until you watch this tip. This one suggestion could change the way you think about administrative assistant requirements forever!

Today’s instant hiring tip is about hiring administrative assistants. Here’s one of the biggest mistakes I see some of my clients making throughout the country. It seems a lot of hiring managers are under the impression that administrative assistants need to be huge extroverts with really outgoing personalities. You know people that love to talk, are outgoing and just always seem to be at the center of attention.

I’m not sure how that trend got started but in my experience extroverts aren’t necessarily your best choice for administrative assistants. Unless, of course, they also act as a receptionist and interact with people on a continuing basis you generally don’t want an outgoing personality in an administrative assistant role.

In my experience an administrative assistant position is better suited for people that are bit more low-key and reserved and prefer to work behind the scenes. Extroverts make great sales people but in an admin assistant role they can struggle as they yearn for more social interaction. An extrovert with an outgoing personality may feel compelled to interact with others in the organization with they should be providing critical support.

Imagine yourself delegating critical tasks to your administrative assistant who would much rather be walking around the office chatting it up with co-workers than providing a consistent and reliable direct line of support to you.
When hiring personnel we just have to submit to the fact that certain people/personalities are going to be predisposed to certain behaviors and will be ideally suited for some positions and not so much for others.