Whether you’ve been conducting interviews for decades, or you have just started, you’ve come to the right place.
If you’re wondering how to find the best staff, assessing your interview process and procedures is vital. You want to make sure you’re asking the right questions and preparing to set yourself up for success. It is a waste of everyone’s time if you end up hiring the wrong person based on how the interview went.
Create a clear and specific job description
Before the interview, make sure the job description and job ad express what the role entails. This requires you to have a sure understanding of what you’re looking for in a new employee. Having a clear description will help the candidate adequately prepare for the interview and ensure you’re both on the same page about the role.
Read the candidate’s resume before going into the interview
Don’t waste time asking about things that are already stated in their resume. You want to use the interview as a chance to dig deeper into things they haven’t shown on their resume. Consider asking:
Questions to assess their behaviour
How they would solve a problem
Why they left their current role
Any pressures they may have faced in their previous roles and how they handled these situations
Give them a chance to explain any gaps in their work experience
Watch for clues about cultural fit
Phone screening interview first
This is your chance to quickly assess whether the candidate is worth having an hour-long conversation with. Save yourself time. Ask basic questions which will help you rule them out or progress them to a face-to-face interview. Good questions will assess non-negotiables, for example, if you’re trying to fill a full-time role, you want to know if the person is available for those hours.
Build rapport with the interviewee
Help the interviewee feel more comfortable and show that they’re valued by giving them your full attention. This means turning your phone on silent and clearing your schedule to minimise interruptions. You want to give a good impression of both yourself and the company. Remember, the candidate is interviewing you too – especially in the candidate short market we are currently facing. Reading the candidate’s resume before going into the interview is another way of making them feel valued because it makes the candidate think you’re interested in them.
Take notes every time something significant is mentioned. This helps the candidate feel like they are being heard.
Top Recruiter Tip: Print the candidates resume and use it as a prompt if you need to in the interview.
Set the tone with an introduction
Effective job interviews start with an introduction of yourself, the interviewer, the role and the company. Set the tone for the interview at this stage – being too serious or too casual can make the interviewee feel extra nervous or lead them to not take the interview seriously. So, find a balance. An introduction explains what is expected of the candidate and will give them a sense of guidance which can help to calm their nerves.
In the interview, you should also explain the role in more depth and the type of person you’re looking for so the candidate can determine if the job is right for them.
Ask the right questions
Consider the type of role you’re hiring for and the person you are interviewing. You want to tailor your questions to suit both. You wouldn’t ask an accountant to sell you something and you wouldn’t ask an entry-level candidate to explain how they would reward their employees for doing great work.
As we’ve mentioned, ask questions that will help you dive deeper into the details stated in the candidate’s resume. Ask open-ended questions that allow for explanation and conversation.
Have a set list of questions that you will ask every candidate who applies for the same job. This will help you assess each candidates’ answers based on the same question. Your future self will thank you when comparing candidates. However, this does not mean you can’t ask questions off the cuff – sometimes you’ll need to ask candidates to explain something further, or an answer will take the conversation in a different direction.
Let the candidate know when they should expect to hear from you
Candidates are most likely in the process of interviewing for multiple roles. Be realistic with the timeframe you give and make contact if it will be pushed out. Keeping lines of communication open gives you time to assess other candidates, while other applicants stay engaged. A candidate who is waiting with no communication is going to accept another role.
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