A funny feeling in your stomach. A persistent voice in your head. These are your gut feelings – they are also referred to as your own innate wisdom or your intuition. Now the choice lies with you – do you take heed of these little messages or do you ignore them? These gut feelings will pop up all throughout your life, sometimes, may I add, not at the most convenient times! You need to train yourself to identify these signals and which ones need to be acted on.

This gut feeling is a vital part of the interview process; for both the person being interviewed and the interviewers. Apparently women are better ‘readers’ of people as they have a more highly developed intuition system which stems back to our female ancestors who had to be in tune with their babies to ensure their survival. I do however believe that men can hone their intuition skills, especially in situations where they have a lot of experience.

As a Recruitment Consultant, I feel that I have developed a highly sensitive gut feeling and I ALWAYS trust my gut instinct. Most Recruiters will tell you that they know within the first minute of a candidate walking into a room whether they will be successful or not. This is 100% true. A positive, strong gut feeling is as strong as a voice shouting at you telling that this candidate is the one and you must pull out all the stops to place him at your client. These are fantastic, ‘light bulb’ moments in any recruiter’s career.

There are however moments when you are interviewing a candidate and you experience a growing feeling of uneasiness in your stomach. There is ‘something’ about that candidate but you just cannot put your finger on what it is. It’s a feeling that you do not trust what he has put on is CV and no matter how much you probe into his career history; you just do not feel comfortable with what you are hearing. I had a situation recently where I dug deep into a candidate’s reason for leaving and I still wasn’t convinced that what I was hearing was the honest truth. Before I sent this candidate onto my client I gave his previous employer a call to do a quick reference on him (this was all legal and above board as I had a signed legal declaration that I could contact his referees). His former Boss told me that he had actually been fired from the role as he had a charges of neglect, in the warehouse, against him. A bit different from the ‘I didn’t get on with my co-workers’ story that I was fed.

I firmly believe that on the flipside, candidates also need to ‘go with their gut’ when interviewing at a new company. You need to ensure that you visit the building where you will be working and meet as many people as possible in the organisation. You need to have a good gut feel about where you will be working and for the people that you will be working with. Do not ignore tell-tale messages from your gut and make sure if you have any doubt that you address these during the interview process.

All the best for the recruitment process and remember to trust your gut at every turn!

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