Interviewing candidates for a job can be fun and exciting – filling a position helps a person who needs a job and gets your company running at peak efficiency. As hopeful and exciting as this process can be, however, if you don’t prepare your interview process, you could be looking at trouble.
Bad interview questions, a poorly written job description, and an awful help wanted template can all foul up your designs to have your position filled by the best candidate. Let’s take a look at the 5 pillars to conducting an effective interview to help you find the best person for your company while causing you the least amount of stress.
If your job posting says “need a person to do office work” but it turns out “office work” means fixing drywall and acting as a cross-town courier most of the time, you’re going to have extreme turnover.
Your job description needs to be clear, defining the role, it’s essential functions along with physical requirements. It’s also not a bad idea to try and break down the percentage of the job that each duty requires so people have a good idea going in what their day will be. Clarity on the job description also helps applicants understand if they will need accommodations to perform the duties under the ADA or if there won’t be any obstacles to that end.
Make sure you put in potential benefits, prerequisites like education and work history, and what skills and work history the ideal candidate would possess.
We live in a time of social media, so give your candidates a check on the various sites. Do they put forth a professional demeanor that would represent your organization well?
Run through their resume with your interviewing team a few times so that you get a feel for their history and what they can provide, and then you can hone in with specific questions about their past duties. This is great because people will put certain things on their resume – like “office experience” – when all they did was sort mail and make coffee. Informing your direct questions can save everyone time.
You might be offering a job, but you need an employee. Give them reasons they want to work for you that go beyond compensation and benefits. Do you have a great work environment? Are the employees friendly and supportive? Are the grounds of your office a great place to take walks on break, with a beautiful view of a pond with baby ducks in the spring? Selling your company’s appeal is critical when conducting an effective interview.
Interviewers almost always ask if the applicant has questions, but it’s critical to understanding their personality to get them to engage in this part of the interview.
Instead of asking “do you have any questions,” use closed-ended questions like “what are the two biggest hopes you have for working here?” or “what are the two questions about our company you’d like to ask?”
People are more likely to answer these types of questions than the simple “do you have any questions”.
It’s always best to have a team of interviewers and to schedule your applicants with some time between them. This allows you to immediately discuss notes, pros, cons, and your impression of the person. If you wait or have applicants back-to-back, you won’t be able to digest everything you learned.
With these tips in mind go and make the best possible hire for your company.