Conducting an interview to hire a potential candidate is an important task that requires knowledge, skill and preparation; especially if you’re looking to make the process as efficient as possible while still selecting someone who will be an excellent fit within your team and the organization, as a whole. Additionally, according to research from CareerBuilder, 41% of companies say that a poor hire costs them around $25,000.
Here are some tips and guidelines I have picked up over the years. As someone who has performed a number of interviews for prospective employees, I hope you find them helpful.
- Make sure you have a current job description written up which includes the minimum requirements, responsibilities, reporting structure, and any other relevant information.
- Thoroughly review the resume, making note if the experience and background match the position.
- If the interviewee is on LinkedIn, take a look at his/her profile and see how it compares with the resume.
- Consider conducting a telephone screening to rule anyone who’s “on the fence” in or out.
- Ensure there is enough time given for the interview, so that neither you nor the candidate feels rushed.
- Include at least two other colleagues on your interview team.
- When possible, ask open-ended questions that evaluate the applicant’s abilities and judgment. For example, “Tell me about a time when…” or “How would you handle this situation?” You can find other examples in the Suggested Resources below.
- Try not to talk too much during the interview and let the candidate answer the questions at his/her own pace.
- Be consistent with your questions and process with each candidate.
- Observe non-verbal behavior, as well as spoken answers.
- Look for applicants who ask relevant questions about the position, company or culture.
- Ask the candidate to summarize information you described earlier in the interview.
- When finished, be professional, thank the applicant for coming in, and provide a timeline for the position.
- Share feedback and general impressions about the candidate with the other interviewers. What impressed them? What concerned them?
- Use an interview scorecard and rank the applicants to help with the decision-making process.
- If there are references, contact them to confirm qualifications and find out more information.
- Make your final decision within a reasonable timeframe, as top-notch applicants may have more than one offer. Waiting too long could cost you that candidate.
What are your thoughts? Do you have other suggestions or personal stories? Please feel free to ask questions or share your experiences below.
- Interviewing Techniques
- Conducting an Interview: Candidate Interviews that Get Results
- Best Interview Questions to Ask Applicants
Jeremy S. joined Empathia in 2007 as Manager, Client Care Services, then became an Account Manager/Sales Consultant in 2012. He is also a certified wellness and tobacco cessation coach. Jeremy has a bachelor’s degree in Psychology and a master’s degree in Organizational Development. Prior to joining Empathia, he spent 14 years in the EAP industry in a variety of managerial/leadership roles at another behavioral healthcare organization. Jeremy enjoys reading, photography, music and spending time with his wife and daughters.