Interviewing done right

Interviewing done right

“Our lack of an interview process has led to some of our hiring problems. We know interviewing done right takes time & practice. Can you help?”

Thoughts of the Day: Interviewing is a valuable business skill not to be overlooked. Lay out a process that you can use every time. Consider testing to gain some insight. Decide who should be involved in the interview, and in what order. Evaluate your process to compare results and look for ways to improve.

Determine the steps needed to hire a candidate once you have applicants to access.

Make sure you can get multiple looks at the candidate to see if they’re consistent across all meetings and conversations. If you’re in a low unemployment economy, plan to work quickly to move through interviews, check references, refine the job offer and negotiate salary.

Interviewing done right means don’t get into job specifics at first.

Rather, spend time finding out the candidates’ backgrounds. Compare that background to the ideal job description to see if there’s a fit, without giving away too much detail to the candidate, to limit how much they craft their descriptions to meet your needs.

Interviewing done right means knowing which questions you should and should not ask. Be clear up front that the compensation range is based on how well the candidates’ experiences match the job you’re looking to fill. Be careful about asking for historical salary from candidates as that’s now an illegal question in some states.

Think about using tests to gain insight and create questions you can put to the candidates.

You can baseline your company by asking current employees to go through the tests, then compare how candidates answer questions to your current base of employees. That can be a mixed bag, as you want diversity in your workforce but you also want a cohesive culture.

As owner and head of the company, you probably don’t want to be doing the first interview, even if it’s a top-tier candidate. Ask someone else in the company to meet with candidates first and get a feel for them. Develop scripts to use for each of three interviews. Have someone in each interview who takes notes, or consider taping interviews – just get the candidate’s permission to use the recording device. Use a lot of repeat questions, to see if candidates remain consistent throughout the interview process.

As you go through interviews, take time out to debrief how the interviews are going.

Check on candidates post-hire – the ones you hired and the ones you let go if you can keep track of them. Look for the most successful candidates, pull out the interview notes to see if they drew out information that would indicate the candidate would be successful. Do the same with your failures. Keep refining the process as you go through the years until you feel that you have a process that works well every time.