In today’s economy, most job postings attract many candidates – but the challenge is placing only top quality applicants with your company. Hiring the right person upfront will pay dividends in productivity, initiative, engagement, and even retention. So what interview tips do hiring managers use to successfully weed through applicants in interviews to find the diamonds in the rough?
Never go into an interview blind. You should have a carefully crafted list of behavioral questions that address core competencies for the job. If the job requires strong leadership, communication skills, and detail-orientation, for example, there should be at least 1-3 questions that touch on each of these areas. Prepare to provide pertinent information about the role and the company to the candidate to set expectations on company/departmental objectives, culture, and goals.
The best interview questions are the ones that require candidates to detail real-life examples. Instead of asking “Have you ever managed a project?” you should ask something like “Please give me an example of a large project you managed that was successful, and why.” Various studies show that a person’s past professional performance is the best indicator of future performance – so ask questions that will help you understand both positive and negative experiences the candidate has had in the past. Don’t forget to take detailed notes to refer back to later when comparing candidates.
Be purposeful about who is included in the interview process. Ensure that the actual hiring manager is involved from the beginning, along with others of influence as appropriate. Consider various types of interviews to see how the candidate responds to different types of situations, and to collect additional interviewer perspectives. You may consider a one-on-one interview, for example, with the hiring manager followed by a panel interview with three other managers followed by a peer interview with would-be colleagues of the candidate. Make sure that everyone takes detailed notes and discusses their various thoughts and opinions.
These tips will help set the foundation for a strong interview process. The more time invested upfront, the better odds of hiring a top quality candidate who will help drive your business forward for years to come. Take the time to carefully review and engage potential candidates to ensure that the hiring decision is a good one. For more information on hiring best practices, or to learn more about how we can help, please contact us.