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Herb Greenberg and Patrick Sweeney

Herb Greenberg, Ph.D. is the founder and chief executive officer and Patrick Sweeney is president of Caliper, an international management consulting firm, which, for over a half-century, has assessed the potential of more than three million applicants and employees for over 28,000 companies around the world.

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The Most Classic Hiring Mistake

by
Herb Greenberg and Patrick Sweeney
Sep 25, 2012, 6:11 am ET

The most common hiring mistake is to hire someone who has the right experience. We know that this sounds counterintuitive, but hear us out.

(This is from our book How to Hire and Develop Your Next Top Performer, 2nd edition: The Qualities That Make Salespeople Great, @2012, McGraw-Hill Professional; reprinted with permission of the publisher. )

When you’re putting together a help-wanted ad, what’s the first thing you write?

“Needed, a salesperson with at least one year of experience.”

No. Wait a minute. This is a much more important job. Let’s say, “Needed, five years’ experience.”

Experience is what we look for in job candidates.

If two candidates seem equally qualified for a position, and one has slightly more experience, the decision seems easy. Experience wins. Some executives even will look in their competitors’ backyards for individuals who are ready to make a move. Conventional wisdom is that an experienced individual will hit the ground running.

But how many times have you come across someone who has five years of experience that adds up to just one year’s bad experience repeated five times?

Our advice is not to hire from your competitors — unless you want to do them a favor. keep reading…

10 Things Not to Do When Interviewing (and 4 Bonus Tips)

by
Herb Greenberg and Patrick Sweeney
Sep 19, 2012, 5:19 am ET

Below are some “don’ts” to keep in mind when interviewing, many of which relate to the most common interviewing errors. It’s from our book How to Hire and Develop Your Next Top Performer, 2nd edition: The Qualities That Make Salespeople Great, @2012, McGraw-Hill Professional; reprinted with permission of the publisher.

  1. Don’t be afraid to ask tough questions. If you uncover anything during the reference check or employment history review process that warrants tough questioning, do not be afraid to ask about it during the interview. Begin your relationship with a new hire on a frank basis.
  2. Don’t oversell your company. Don’t use pat statements such as, “Since the company was founded a little over a decade ago, we’ve been on the right path, and that road is now smoother than ever.” An adept interviewer will lay out the strengths and weaknesses of the firm, putting them in perspective. Do not paint an unrealistic picture of your company in order to lure an applicant on board.
  3. Don’t ask for information you already have. For example, “Why don’t you tell me about yourself? Let’s see, how long ago did you start your current position?” This shows a lack of interest in the candidate because this information was most likely obtained earlier, via the candidate’s resume. The interview should be used to obtain new information or to confirm or reject tentative information already acquired. keep reading…