interview techniques to help hire the right candidate
- human resources
Although it can be tedious and sometimes overwhelming, I have always found recruiting new employees to be one of the most successful parts of owning or managing a business – as it is a clear sign of growth and success! However, conducting a well-planned interview with the right candidates can be harder than it seems, and if you're not careful you may end up rushing the process, or hiring the wrong person for the job you need filled.
Read below to find out how I approach the recruitment process, and for some guidance on conducting an interview that's sure to get you the right person for the job!
- Know exactly what you're looking for in terms of skills, expertise and qualifications. Identify what parts of the business the successful candidate will be fulfilling and tailor the job specification to that need – I have found once I clarify this and then advertise the job, it will attract the right people.
- Prepare yourself for meeting all candidates; a quick skim of their resume before the interview won't always suffice! The best interviews are conversations, and it's hard to have a good conversation with someone you don't know, so do your research. I will always dedicate 20 minutes or so to reading a candidate's resume, so I can get an idea of who they are. Remember that the more you know about a candidate ahead of time, the easier it will be to figure out if they're right for the job or not.
- Be sure to inform your candidates of the interview's structure before you meet; let them know if you want them to bring any examples of their work to make sure the meeting is productive.
- Remember to ask the right questions, and listen carefully to the answers. Whether the questions I ask are tradition or maybe more abstract, I will always make sure the questions highlight a specific skillset that the candidate needs to have for the job. Remember that applicants may be nervous, so always ask follow-up questions to make sure you're getting a full understanding of what they're trying to say. Pay close attention to their reactions to difficult questions, I have often found a person's attitude is just as important as their skillset.
- Have a system and take notes throughout the interview. If you're interviewing multiple people in one day, it's natural that you may forget or confuse who said what. Having a scoring system and jotting down key points as they answer will allow you to review each candidate objectively.
- Always allow time for a second round, or a follow-up interview. Naturally it's difficult to make a final decision after meeting someone once – remember, this is not a decision to be rushed. If you have the time, try to arrange for a second interview with your top two or three candidates to give them a chance to really showcase their skills. Assigning potential employees a task related to the specific job will give you further insight into their strengths and weaknesses, and ultimately help you make the most informed decision.