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You may not even know you're interviewing with this recruiter

Madeline Skaggs hangs out with Chicago’s top headhunters and in-house recruiters to hear about their tricks, their trade, and what it takes to get a job at companies like LinkedIn, Dyson and Edelman. This week, she sits down with Yoh.

Yoh is a national staffing agency that helps put people in chairs at companies all across the board, from aerospace and defense, to life sciences and engineering. As vice president of recruitment process outsourcing, Andy Roane shares how his team of recruiters go undercover to find the best candidates.

Driving factors

Unless you’re a bonafide job hopper, talking about work history is pretty cut and dried. But Roane sees it as an opportunity to see if you’re really in control. “I want to get to, what were they thinking a month or two months before they made that transition?” Getting a glimpse of the run-up to departure shows Roane if a candidate is behind the wheel or in the passenger seat. “If it was their only choice, then perhaps they’re not driving their career as much as we’d like them to,” he says.

Weeding out

If a candidate chose to leave for more money, a bigger opportunity or just new scenery, that tells Roane something. “It may not be a negative,” Roane says, “but if somebody’s not going to last in their position, and it’s because of a performance related situation, I want to uncover that.” Pairing a company and a candidate requires chemistry. “I want to make sure that I understand what their deficit was,” Roane says. “Would we run into the same sort of issue for our clients?”

Use your filter

Filters are great. They keep lint out of the dryer and sex jokes out of the office. But Roane says they’re just as important to keep in mind at the interview. “One of the things that we look at in the interview process is actually, is the candidate interviewing us?” Like Tom Moran at Addison Group, Roane says candidates who don’t ask questions raise a big red flag. “If their filter’s not working because they’re not asking questions, we’re losing part of that critical process,” Roane says.

Back to you

Yoh embeds recruiters at their clients’ offices, complete with a company email so candidates don’t know that they’re being screened by a recruiter. Many of Yoh’s recruiters have been affiliated with the same clients for more than a decade, making questions about how it feels to work in the office day-to-day easy to answer, but Roane prefers to use them as an excuse to dig deeper. He prepares his recruiters by teaching them the tricks of the turn around. “If they get that type of question [then] their response is actually gauged towards what the candidate is looking for even if they asked a different question,” Roane says. So if you ask your interviewer what they love most about working there, be prepared for them to turn it back to you.