5 tips for interviewing job candidates – the hiring process requires employer preparation

Finding the right employees is a key component to running a successful business.  Often you only get one chance to meet an individual after a resume is sent, and deciding on the perfect candidate comes down to 30 minutes or less.  Making the most out of an interview can save you time and money, as well as bring a valuable new member to your team.  Here are five tips to help you use your interview time wisely and make the best hiring decisions. 

1. Know the Job – In small businesses, particularly, employees will often wear multiple hats. Hiring for one set of responsibilities while ignoring other skills required to make your operation work can potentially result in unhappy employees and the need to start over multiple times. If possible, have the person vacating the job opening write out the job description. After all, she knows best what her job entails.  If that isn’t possible, talk to other members of your team about what they expect from the person doing the job.  Uncovering how a new employee will be expected to interact and perform within your existing staff will allow you to search for the skills that be the best fit.

2. Prepare Questions in Advance – Take time at the beginning of the hiring process to write down the questions you want to ask before you interview your first candidate. This will keep your interviews on track, maximize the information you get and make it much easier to compare candidates.  A candidate that may be very personable and easy to talk with may not be the best person to hire based on skills. If you have a very skill-specific job you are hiring for, you may want to add additional time for a promising candidate to demonstrate his proficiency with a skills performance exercise. For example, if you’re hiring a communications professional, give the candidate a set time to write a sample blog post or simple marketing plan.

3. Take Your Time  – Schedule interviews so that you have enough time to get the answers to all of your questions and also have a chance to get to know the candidate as a person.  Take promising candidates on a tour of your facility and to meet other members of their prospective team.  If the position requires him to work closely with other employees, include those employees in the interview process.

4. Take Notes – The amount of information needed to find the right candidate requires you to take notes on each individual. Answers to questions are the most obvious to write down, but also include general impressions. Did she arrive on time, dress appropriately, answer with confidence or seem hesitant? Everything is noteworthy when interviewing.

5. Get Feedback from your Team – Unless this new person will work directly and primarily with you, listen to what your team says about the candidates. A team that works well together will yield better daily results and employee retention.

The importance of knowing what you need and taking the time to find it is crucial for a successful interview. Getting organized for interviews may seem cumbersome, but having your process down will make the process smoother and result in better interviews and better employees. Remember, it’s much easier to hire the right person once versus the wrong person several times.

By  

From Merchant OS


Opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and not of The HR Gazette or its team members.
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