First off - I completely agree with the introduction of "How to Prepare for an Interview". Our interviews stinks!
On an average, 4 out of 5 people we employ turn out to be false positives.

I've been working for a few months now managing a street fundraising programme for a major NGO in Sweden. Our prioriy nr one is volume of donors, meaning we are always on a lookout for good recruiters. (recruiters of new monthly donors that is) Problem is we don't really have a clue about what makes the good ones good and the bad ones bad. There is close to consensus internationally within the organization that there is no way of telling other than putting people on the street and see how they fair.

I kinda doubt this, every time I sit down for an interview I feel grossly unproffessional. Of course, I try to find out basic stuff like if the person is interested in the job (a lot of the people we call have no idea to which companies and organizations they've sent their resume), wther they are outgoing, if they've had sales jobs before and how they did back then.

Still, we lack basic knowledge on what to look for in the interview, and how to do it. Any advice on where/how to get this understanding is greatly appreciated!

(the job is basically about aproaching people on the street and get them to sign up as monthly donors)

HMac's picture

Seems like a great opportunity for behavioral interviewing:

The better you can describe the behaviors you've observed in successful fundraisers, the better you can ask candidates to describe specific instances where they're used these behaviors - in work, social, community, neigbborhood, church settings.

Maybe if you showed videotapes of successful fundraisers at work (both succeeding and not suceeding) - my thought is to give the candidates as real a taste for the job as possible, so they can them make the case, behaviorally, why they think they'll be successful.

Do you ever have "group" campaigns - say, where a team of fundraisers swarms a big public event? If so, you might "buddy up" some of your candidates with experienced fundraisers, so they can get a real sense of what the job requires...


jhack's picture

Interestingly, all the interview podcasts (and I do mean all, including the registered members casts and the interview series) are very helpful in preparing to sit on either side of the interview table.

I especially like the ones about answering questions: leadership style, weakness, "tell me about yourself", etc. They are as helpful to the interviewer as to the interviewee.

The heart of the behavioral interview is to ask the candidate to describe what they did (on a project, to build a pipeline, to close a sale, etc).


RasmusTQ's picture

Thank you both for your quick replies to my post! I've listened to all the casts about interviewing and being interviewed and I believe they've taken me quite a few steps closer to good recruiting.

My core problem is still the insights into what makes our succesfull recruiters successfull, what to look for and how to care for and develop it.
Paired up with this is another obstacle: most of the people we attracted are fresh out of school, no work experience and certainly no sales experience. Hence it is hard to find good ways to predict their future behaviour (and yes, our two most successful recruiters has no relevant experience at all, we hired them because they were "nice guys")

So, I guess my bottomline is, anybody got any good advice on how to figure out what makes a successful recruiter? Just being out on the street with the guys observing them hasn't been enough.

wendii's picture
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I'm going to make some guesses, I hope it helps.

Characteristics which would make a good recruiter:

*Tenacity, persistance, resiliance & drive
*Communication & persuasion skills. The ability to develop rapport quickly
*Ability to learn (especially from their own mistakes)
*Enthusiastic & dynamic, high energy, a sense of urgency
*Goal oriented & able to prioritise well

Even if your candidates are fresh out of school, you can establish whether or not they have these skills. Questions I would ask:

*Tell me about a time when you had be tenacious. What was the situation? What were the obstacles and how did you work through them?

*Tell me about your biggest achievement. What obstacles did you encounter and how did you overcome them?

*Tell me about a time you had to persuade someone to change their way of working. Tell me about the situation, what tactics did you use to persuade them, did it work?

*Have you ever held office at school, or had any responsibility? Tell me about that experience.

*Tell me about your biggest failure. What happened, and what did you learn from the experience?

*Tell me about a time you had to make big decision alone. What was the situation and how you did you feel?

*Tell me about a time when you had more than one priority. What were your choices, and how did resolve the problem?

Even school leavers can give you answers to these questions.

I hope that helps some.


RasmusTQ's picture

That sounds indeed like some very good guesses Wendii! Thank you very much! Off to testing on a few new candidates on monday =)

manager_atrois's picture

Wendii and Hmac both have great advice. I myself have asked a lot of the questions Wendii offers in various interviews, not necessarily for recruiters.

One thing I'll also point out is that a recruiter should be able to make an impression. Obviously a good track record is indicative of a good candidate but during the interview the recruiter should "sell" himself or herself very well and communicate with you easily. Since a lot of what they'll be doing is representing you in front of other people I would base a lot on the impressions gathered from those meetings. If a recruiter is able to convince you that he or she is good, he's probably good right (or at least good at convincing, which is pretty much the same thing)?

bflynn's picture

Wendii, I'm just catching up - looking for this exact topic and there is your answer, exactly what I need.

You Rock! (American for You're Incredible!)


bflynn's picture

And most amazing - here I go looking yet again for this topic and there's Wendii's post, just a relevant as ever.

You Still Rock!