INTERVIEW & ASSESSMENT
About this Module
INTERVIEW & ASSESSMENT
One frequently asked question in the world of Second Chance employment is "do you assess a Second Chance Candidate differently than a candidate who is not?"
The response is that on the whole, Second Chance candidates should be interviewed and then evaluated in much the same way as any other candidate. As an employer, you will want to make sure that candidates from both groups will be responsible, accountable, and will fit in well with existing workplace culture. it's important to make sure that a Second Chance candidate is ready, that they've taken responsibility for their past mistakes, and that they have the resources and support they need to succeed in full time work. The interview is arguably the most important piece of the employment puzzle, because interviewing and hiring are critical for success on every level. Having a thoughtful approach that reflects time and effort paid to each step can make the process more productive for everyone.
PAM BRADY: My job in HR working on second chance individuals really isn’t that much different, because I don’t look at someone that comes in to apply for a job as someone who has a record, I look at them as a human being as the individual that they are, and focus on again their experience what can they do to help as what can we do to help them.
GINA SHILHANEK: When candidates come in, we just ask interview questions that we evoke the story and emotion and maybe something personal even that allows us to say, hey they’re mission driven that I can see them as a part of Oregon food bank and feeding people and doing the good work that were doing together.
PATRICE STANKAVICH: I just don’t differentiate, I find no purpose in it, because I am not that curious about the past, again somebody needs to have some of the basic components to get their foot in the door, certainly. But after that, it’s so much more about what you can do for me now and frankly I am so certain that I have hired people in the past that have done maybe not the best of smartest things, but we don’t know about it, they never got caught, and I’ve also hired people that we thought are fantastic and most citizens who in the future did pretty terrible things. There’s just no way to differentiate around that personality, but what you differentiate is are they capable and able and interested in doing the job, and as long as I stay focused on that, the rest of it doesn’t matter.
RAMONA MATHANY: There’s a pretty intense screening process but there’s also an intuitive thing when you’re interviewing about a hundred people a week that have criminal backgrounds and watching the way that they sit down in the interview room, the way the thing look at you, the way that they answer their questions and determining which ones are going to actually make the change and want to be a productive member of society.
BETH OLENSKI: I don’t think there’s a big difference between either hiring people with background and hiring people that don’t have one, I think the interview process is very similar, I think is if the kind of questions I think you ask in general is very similar, there might be some specific things that you want to get out on to make sure that the candidate is ready, is prepared has a clear idea of what the job is, for us we kinda call that our – you know, honest interview on being able to make sure that the candidate is ready. that they taken responsibility for what’s happened, that they have the resources they need, the support network to make the transition into full time work, that they’ve had the resources before they came into the door, that’s gonna make them successful, but I think the kind of questions they ask are gonna be very very similar, I don’t think the interview looks a whole lot different, somebody coming in with or without a background.
There’s always sort of this battle of balance between what I know and what I feel, and I think they have to play in the same sandbox, but I think what I’ve learned over time is that I do trust my gut but my gut is based around things that I talked about before, confidences, being really clear about the job, if I really know what the hiring manager wants, then I can trust my gut because my gut is going to guide me in the direction of what is going to be the right fit for your organization in that position.
In our experience in all my years of recruiting and staffing in HR, there is no crystal ball to be able to tell how somebody is gonna do, regardless of their background I don’t think there’s any specific question you can ask them or trick question to ask them to make sure that they’re gonna succeed. We never know, we hope that you ask the right questions you give them a really clear description of what the job is, as much as you can for there’s no surprises, you try to find out if they could fit for the job, and you go from there.
We currently have the question in our application, but I have made it a point not to read the application prior to interview, I like to read their resume and I like to speak directly to them and ask them you know, what they’ve done previously, what they’re experience for the particular position as second chance individuals often times will reveal their criminal background at the time of interview without even being asked and I see that as them being honest and being willing to be accountable for their actions and it is a very strong indicator that they are ready to have a full-time stable position and be a great team member for us.
I’ve got a person’s resume in front of me and it’s not about so much about what’s on that resume, if that’s important, that’s what got them in the door, but when I’m doing an interview, I need to know a lot more about what are you going to provide for us, what kind of value would bring us, so what are the competencies, your attitude, your skills, are they going to be a great match for us in the future, I can ask questions about the resume but that’s going to regurgitate everything that I can read, it’s not so much about their past, it’s much more about their future.
Probably the most prevalent problem while hiring people get into that causes legal promises inconsistency, interviewing one person and really clicking with that person, and getting into a conversation that’s different than you have with the next applicant, maybe somebody you don’t click with maybe the first applicant is more like you, and the second applicant is less like you, and therefore we attend to perpetuate and replicate the same age, the same gender, the same categories of people in workplace and that can be a problem or not necessarily hiring the best person we’re hiring the person we feel most comfortable with during the interview, so what we need to do is have a set group of questions, that pertain exactly to the job and ask them if each applicant now follow up questions will obviously vary because the applicant’s responses will vary, but you can avoid a lot of problems if you interview people consistently.