How much can interviews really reveal about an applicant?

According to the U.S. BureaÉu of Labor Statistics, unemployment rates in more than 200 major metropolitan areas across the country were lower in April 2013 than they were a year ago.

In addition, the unemployment rate in April was 7.1 percent, not seasonally adjusted, which represents an overall decrease from the 7.7 percent level that it was at last year.

For job-hunters and employers alike, this positive shift throughout the workforce is indicative of a changing tide. More individuals are feeling optimistic about their chances for employment as they settle into the hot seat during an interview with a prospective boss, as opposed to feelings of uncertainty and doubt that have been prevalent since the outset of the Great Recession.

However, for HR managers there are important factors to take into account. During an interview, getting a better sense of who a person is beyond his or her resume is crucial for finding someone who can enhance the quality of the workplace.

While human resources software solutions offer a great way for you to streamline the hiring process and gain more time to interact with applicants on a personal level, it’s essential that you take this time to also ask meaningful questions during interviews.

Yet what kinds of questions should you ask, and how should you plan this? According to, moving through an applicant’s work and educational background in chronological order can provide a vivid portrait of a person’s strengths and weaknesses in the office.

“What’s amazing is that after a few minutes, you will always have learned something about the candidate — whether positive or negative — that you would never have learned otherwise,”  John Younger, the CEO of Accolo, a cloud recruiting solutions provider, told the news source.

Overall, the goal of an interview is to lift an individual off of the page. This can help you envision how he or she may interact in the workplace and how that person’s talents, aptitudes or prior level of expertise can be used to enhance the quality of your office. Transitioning through one’s work background and asking questions about opportunities he or she has had for taking leadership or command of a project can provide better insight.

Once you’ve determined whether an individual works for your space, HR software systems can help you manage the hiring process with ease and consolidate the information you’ve gained about him or her.

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