Tips for Effective Interviewing
Hiring the right people is essential to the success and growth of your business. It pays to use job interviews to gain insight into candidates’ skills, strengths, and such critical issues as their interest in working for you, and their potential fit with your company. It is also important to realize that an interview is a mutual learning experience. It requires both sides to share information, so both parties can evaluate the suitability of the match.
Clarify what you need: Advance preparation can improve your interview results — and your hiring decision. Start by creating a job description. Then compile a personal profile of the employee required, including both technical and soft skill sets, ranked in order of importance.
Formulate questions that reflect your needs: Many companies favor behavioral interviewing. It works on the premise that the most accurate predictor of future performance is past performance in similar situations. Accordingly, it structures questions to determine whether the candidate has demonstrated the behaviors, knowledge, and skills required for the job, often beginning questions with phrases such as “Tell about a time … ” or “Describe a situation … ” It is also helpful to inquire about a candidate’s immediate and future career objectives, since you need to know how they align with what you have to offer.
Ask each candidate the same core questions: Although good interviewers show flexibility by adjusting their responses to individual reactions, it’s still necessary to maintain enough structure and consistency that you ask each candidate the same set of core questions. It will be much easier to compare candidates later if you can measure everyone against matching criteria.
Observe non-verbal clues: Be aware of candidates’ personal appearance, body language, firmness of handshake, eye contact, and emotional tenor. In most cases, these non-verbal factors demonstrate quickly whether a candidate meets your requisite level of professionalism and enthusiasm. Evidence of prior research about your company, the liveliness of candidates’ questions, and their tone all reveal their level of interest in the job. Additionally, while it is natural for candidates to be slightly nervous during an interview, they should nevertheless focus appropriately on a meaningful dialogue.
Balance instinct with reason: Take enough time to make an analytical hiring decision — unlike the statistical 90% of interviewers who decide impulsively whether or not to hire within the first five to nine minutes of an interview, then use the time remaining to gather information to justify their choice. The direct and indirect costs of a bad hire are simply too high to leave the decision up to gut instinct or affinity with candidates alone. Supplement your instincts by taking notes during each interview, then evaluate and compare each set of notes to reach a rational verdict.
To learn more on how to attract top talent in today’s labor market, visit PrintLink in Booth 9452.