When faced with a pile of CVs, perhaps 100 or more you need to do a (very) quick weeding out, rejecting the obvious non-starters, perhaps leaving 10 or 12 for further consideration. Does anyone stand out? Either because of their relevant expertise or because they work for a competitor whose products you know, or perhaps their CV shows some spark of life which you can direct into the channels in which my company is interested.
After thinking more about the CV's content I try to only take forward to a meeting around 4, but no more then 6, applicants. Anyone who bothers to 'phone to discuss the position and shows some genuine interest and knowledge gets an automatic invitation.
The first meeting can be the decider. Personality is the key, all the qualifications and expertise in the World will not get you the job. Often within the first 5 minutes, or less it is obvious who will fit. As an employer I cannot have anyone on the team who will disrupt an organisation which may have taken years to build-up. Especially in laboratories situated on a manufacturing site, as most are, the 'works tour' quickly sorts out those who cannot relate to the operators in their overalls.That's one of the more true (and more terrifying) judgments of hiring I've seen in a long time. I've had enough opportunity to meet candidates and participate in interviews enough to listen to my gut feelings. "Hey, this gal seems pretty smart" or "That dude seems like a real tool" only takes a few moments or a few questions after a handshake and/or an interview seminar. I remember seeing only one slide from a candidate recently and thinking "this person knows their stuff". (FWIW, I was proven right, too.)
But there's the rub about 'personality' or a 'good fit'; it is incredibly subjective and a potential catch-all for all sorts of erroneous non-verbal signals. I've never been a hiring manager, but if I had a bad 'gut feeling', I suppose that would be a sign to me that I needed to talk more to the candidate and ask them more questions about how they would handle certain situations or certain personalities. I suppose the same caution should be applied to a good gut feeling, too. You can't be too cautious (which is what the commenter I think was trying to say.)
Readers, do you trust "personality" to know who to hire?
Thanks to Anon121620111241a for writing in and sharing the benefit of their many years of experience. It is appreciated.