Hiring top talent that meets or exceeds job requirements and fits company culture can ensure optimal performance, employee engagement and a reduction in employee turnover. Likewise, a bad hire can cost your organization in significant ways. You can reduce this risk through a more thoughtful approach to the candidate interview process.
While the Hiring Manager and others involved in the interview process may be experts in their field, they may not necessarily be well versed in how to effectively interview and evaluate candidates. Appropriate training or a refresher may be in order.
Remember, recruiting is a two-way street, especially in today’s labor market. Just as you are interviewing a candidate, they are also evaluating you, your company and the open opportunity. The beginning of the employee/employer relationship starts when a candidate applies for your position. The interview is a critical second step in this relationship, so put your best foot forward. Do your homework, start on time, take appropriate notes and follow up with the candidate appropriately.
If you are asked to complete an interview, prepare for it just as you would prepare for any other work commitment. Take the time to review each candidate’s resume closely and formulate a list of questions based specifically on their background, experience, education and skill set. Be sure these questions will allow you to gain meaningful insights into the candidate’s readiness to assume the role for which they are interviewing.
Be prepared to answer the candidate’s questions as well regarding the position, work environment, culture, organizational structure, company history, growth opportunities, benefits and recruiting timeline. A strong candidate will research you and your company and will probably arrive with a list of questions for you.
Then, be sure to block at least 15 minutes before the actual interview to refresh on the candidate. This time also allows you to fully disconnect from other obligations and give the candidate, and your questions, your undivided attention.
Be respectful of the candidate’s time by starting the interview promptly. The individual may be nervous, so put them at ease by starting with pleasantries and “softer” questions you’d expect the candidate to be able to answer easily. Some experts say the candidate should do up to 90% of the talking during an interview. Extract as much information as you can through a mix of close-ended, open-ended, hypothetical and behavioral based questions.
Form your questions in ways that address job aptitude and cultural fit – the most effective ones will generate deep insight into the character and capabilities of the candidate. This will allow you to get a feel for the person’s composure, personality, ability to communicate, skill set and true fit for the open position.
Use proper body language to appear engaged, maintain tone and eye contact, and take notes. Pay attention to the candidate’s body language and tone, as well – sometimes how a person answers is as telling as what they say. Allow for periods of silence or pauses as the candidate formulates answers.
Be sure to allow ample time for the candidate to ask you questions. Take notes as to what they ask. This can reveal what is important to them, what their concerns might be and/or how interested they are in your position.
Inevitably, one of these questions will relate to the hiring process – candidate pool, timeframe, etc. – be as honest, realistic, and transparent as you can. Always provide your contact information or business card in case the candidate has any follow-up questions or comments.
Thank the candidate for their time and walk them out personally.
After the Interview
Review your notes immediately and fill in any blanks while the interview is still fresh in your mind.
Follow up with the candidate in whatever timeframe and format you may have promised. If they contact you with questions or a thank you email, be sure to include that along with their resume and your notes as you compile your information on this candidate. This allows you to have the best information available as you evaluate and compare candidates.
If you’d like more advice specific to your organization’s hiring process or interview approach, or even formal training for hiring managers, contact EFPR Solutions today. Our experts are available to guide you through this critical process.
EFPR Solutions is a business consulting firm in Rochester, NY that provides staffing and outsourcing services in accounting, finance and human resources. To learn more about our experienced team of business consultants and how we can assist your organization, please call 585-486-0725, email firstname.lastname@example.org or follow us on LinkedIn and Twitter.