Let’s talk interviewing. Most phone interviews are pretty straightforward – you come up with a list of questions, take notes on the candidate’s answers, and review after the call. The full-length, in-person interview is where things get tricky. Not because the process is necessarily difficult, but because many people don’t conduct interviews often (particularly if you work for a small business). Here are some best practices when conducting interviews so that you get the most out of them, and represent yourself as a true hiring pro (even if you aren’t one yet).
- Consider having candidates send you a personality profile before you schedule an in-person interview, or even before a phone interview. We have always liked having some insight into a candidate’s personality and the way they think/act before moving forward. Plus, some tests like our personal favorite, the DISC Assessment, gather a ton of information about a candidate that would be difficult to acquire without turning your interview into a psychological evaluation (which would probably creep out some qualified candidates).
- Study each candidate’s resume, identify talking points (either positive or negative) and be sure to ask all the questions that you need in order to get a solid understanding of the candidate and how they would fit into your company. If you see gaps in job history, multiple short-term (less than 2 years) positions, or just flat-out odd occurrences, make a note of it and ask the candidate to provide you with the reasoning. It’s not harsh, it’s just a standard practice to understand their history.
- Be extremely clear about the position, the company, and the industry. It doesn’t behoove you or the candidate if there is ambiguity about the job. If you aren’t on the same page during the hiring process, there’s a higher chance of that candidate quitting or being fired soon thereafter, which just wastes everyone’s time and money.
- Don’t doubt your instincts. There is much to be said about intuition, so if you have a bad feeling about a candidate, it might be best to just pass on them. From a psychological perspective, you could be picking up on a subtle cue from the individual that suggests a poor aspect of their personality that would result in a conflict or deficiency in their potential role. Your mind may not be able to specifically identify what it is – but your brain may have chalked it up to “instincts,” so don’t just write it off.
Recruiting and hiring can be a daunting task for those who are new to the process. Often times it takes trial and error to develop an effective system, but if you follow our tips you will have a far better chance of finding exceptional team members.