Hiring the right person in today’s market is more important – and more competitive – than ever. Interviews are your opportunity to finalize hiring decisions and get the real story behind candidates’ experience, goals and plans. How can you make them work for you and avoid costly hiring mistakes?
Even Before the Interview
Lay the groundwork for a successful interview experience by taking these preliminary steps to make your candidate evaluation process easier and more efficient:
- Specify clear job requirements. Carefully craft a job description, including all relevant details and duties. Separate necessary attributes from desirable ones and include both hard (task-related) and soft (interpersonal) skills. Provide this document to candidates ahead of time.
- Review all documents provided by candidates. Use application forms to screen out individuals who clearly don’t meet requirements. Read cover letters for additional information linking candidates to the job. Separate resumes using a “three-pile” approach: qualified, possibly qualified and not qualified. Your objective is to compare information provided against your specific selection criteria.
- Develop an interview schedule and stick to it. This must be a top priority for everyone involved. Arm interviewers with lists of questions, the job description, and candidates’ resumes and related materials. Have the same interviewers meet with all candidates.
Not only should your interview team be consistent from applicant to applicant, but your questions likewise should be uniform. Otherwise it’s impossible to make a fair follow-up assessment when you meet to debrief and decide.
- Ask open-ended, neutral questions. Avoid wording that might influence responses. Stay away from anything evocative or judgmental.
- Be careful asking “why” questions. They may infer a cause-effect relationship that does not truly exist. Or, they may cause respondents to become defensive.
- Avoid asking leading questions. These prompt candidates to tell you what you want to hear versus answering with true candor and honesty.
Get to know candidates as individuals. Uncover their passions, goals, interests and pain points. Then begin to envision how working for your company may – or may not – be a match.
- Don’t talk too much. Spend 80 to 90 percent of the time listening. Prompt candidates to continue conversations that provide telling information and facilitate the process so you cover all the necessary ground. But otherwise, zip your lips and pay attention.
- Take detailed notes. Continue to listen and jot down notes through the entire interview. Don’t shut down or make a decision too early in the game.
- It’s generally okay if a candidate is nervous. For most jobs, nervousness is natural and doesn’t matter. Exceptions are jobs where this trait may negatively impact their ability to perform, such as making cold sales calls.
How Your Recruitment Partner Can Help
Successfully interviewing and evaluating candidates can be a time-consuming process – and you can’t afford to skip steps that may come back to haunt you later on. The right recruitment firm can help you reduce time and cost to hire by handling much of the preliminary work, as well as counseling you objectively throughout your final hiring decision. Your recruitment partner also offers:
- A broad candidate data base and network of expert contacts.
- A proven track record and vast industry knowledge.
- An added measure of confidentiality throughout the process, and more.
To learn more, read our related posts or contact PrideStaff Modesto today.