As the cornerstone of the recruitment process, interviews can be a source of great stress for candidates and recruiters alike. Although most interview advice is geared toward instructing the candidate on how to impress the interviewer, the interviewer must also ensure that he or she is conducting the process in a way that will hone in on the candidate’s true capabilities for the position. Hiring the right person in the first place minimizes the costs associated with high employee turnover and helps to improve the overall performance of the workforce.
Here are some strategies for making sure that your interview process is optimized to identify and attract the best candidate for the job:
- Ask behavioral questions that seek to determine how the candidate’s past experiences have prepared him or her for the position in question. For example, for a customer service position, asking the candidate to explain how he has dealt with an angry or unsatisfied customer in the past will help you gauge how he may handle a similar situation in the new role.
- Be prepared. You expect candidates to thoroughly research the position and your organization prior to the interview and to arrive ready to offer insightful answers and ask thoughtful questions. As the interviewer, you should prepare with the same level of diligence. Have an in-depth understanding of the position, including its most challenging aspects, and be familiar with the characteristics of the department’s current top performers. By understanding the past experiences of these high achievers and which qualities help them to succeed in their roles, you will be able to more accurately define what you are looking for in a candidate. Another important step in preparing for an interview is to research the candidate by reviewing his resume and LinkedIn profile and gleaning any other information you can from his online presence. Not only will this help you to uncover any potential red flags and start forming an opinion of the candidate’s fit for the position, but it will also equip you with material for the requisite small talk that helps you get to know the candidate on a more personal level.
- Consider showing interviewees around the office and introducing them to their prospective coworkers. This will provide candidates with a first-hand sense of what it would be like to work for your company while allowing you a chance to gauge their interpersonal skills and how they would fit in with the existing team.
- Emphasize your organization’s mission, goals, and core values and discuss how they are supported by the position in question. It is important for candidates to understand what makes your organization unique beyond the information they can gather from your website. If you think a candidate may be a good fit, remember to highlight what your organization has to offer and “sell” the position.
- While it is important that you generally like the candidate, be careful to avoid making hiring decisions that are more emotional than rational. Hiring a new employee should be a well-reasoned, thoroughly informed decision based on both objective and subjective criteria.
- Have two or three additional people interview candidates that pass your muster. Consider having one of the candidate’s prospective coworkers interview him. This may encourage the team to take greater accountability for helping the candidate succeed if hired. However, avoid having too many people involved, as this may create an inefficient hiring process that will aggravate all participants.
- Be specific about when candidates can expect to hear from you again, and follow up when you say you will. Poor communication from a recruiter is one of the top complaints cited by job-seekers, and it can cause them to form a negative impression of your organization that could damage your employer brand.
(Sources: http://hiring.monster.com/hr/hr-best-practices/recruiting-hiring-advice/interviewing-candidates/interview-tips-for-the-interviewerus.aspx, https://hbr.org/2015/01/how-to-conduct-an-effective-job-interview).
Looking to improve your interview process? Creative Business Resources can guide you in developing strategies to identify and recruit the talent that will accelerate your company’s success. Contact us today!