The most meaningful comments I receive from candidates after an interview are when the interview was considered “tough”. It was clear that the company had a dedication to digging for and retrieving information relevant to the candidate’s ability to perform the job. It was also clear that the hiring company was prepared for the interview and considered the time spent in the interview an investment in obtaining the right employee for their firm.
Consider the following:
1. What is the process you go through when you interview someone?
-At a minimum, establish some guidelines within the company for your process and approach.
2. What is the experience that the candidate has while at the interview?
-As well as ensuring you are getting the information you need to make a decision about a candidate, this is an opportunity to make an impression on them about the company, about the position, and about you as an employee and manager. Take the time to think through what that experience should be like. Sometimes even simple things like how someone is greeted or how expectations are communicated can make a big difference in the candidate’s impression of you and your organization.
3. Do you grab the candidate’s resume off the printer as you head to the conference room and give it a quick scan? Do you turn on the default switch and ask the same questions to each candidate?
-Invest the time in advance of the interview to review the candidate’s resume and think through questions about their background and skills that are RELEVANT to the job you need them to perform.
4. Do you make a judgment about someone solely because you “click”?
-Don’t get me wrong, the “click” factor is very important, but it shouldn’t be the sole reason why the candidate is considered for further investigation. If you like the person – don’t stop there. You really need to do your homework to ensure they can achieve against the objectives you have set for the position. Conversely, if you don’t feel the click factor in the first 3-5 minutes, you may need to reconsider the candidate even if they have all the other qualifications you are seeking.
When I interview candidates, I have responsibilities to both the client and the candidate to be thorough. I sit down before every interview and prepare questions. The questions are usually channeled in four areas:
1. Learning about their background, progression and decisions they have made along the way. I want to know who they are as a person and professional.
2. Gathering more information about the quantifiable accomplishments identified in the screening process.
3. Using behavioral interviewing tactics to understanding both the strengths and weaknesses of each candidate.
4. Understanding the motivators of each candidate. It is important to get to know people beyond their skills.
Finally, document it! Take 10 minutes while the interview is fresh in your mind to make some notes. This is especially helpful as you get to the end of the process and need to compare several potential candidates.
If you do a good job preparing for and conducting the interview, you should come out on the other side feeling like you asked the right questions, got meaningful information, have an opinion about whether the candidate appropriate for the position.
I’ve been receiving great ideas from blog subscribers about topics for future articles. Keep your eyes open!