After you have narrowed your list of applicants down to the few whose resumes are up to par, it is time to start preparing for interviews. This is one of the most, if not the most critical part of the employee search process, so you should do whatever you can to conduct the best interviews possible. To find that perfect candidate for your opening, this article is going to show you how to interview for the best fit.
This is a critical part of the interview process; poor questions will either lead you to hire a poor candidate or leave you as unsure as you were when you began, whereas good questions enhance your decision making process.
Create a categorized list of questions
By categorizing your questions, you can make certain that instead of being random, your questions are informative. Here are a few examples:
- Warm-up – Interviews induce nervousness. Break the ice with a few soft-handed or levity-filled questions.
- Job history/performance – Finding out more details about their job history and performance will help you better understand their qualifications.
- Education – This is most important if you are interviewing a recent graduate, as they likely have little other experience to showcase.
- Career goals – Gives an idea of their mindset, i.e. will they stay if you hire them.
- Motivation – Finding out what motivates a candidate can help you determine if your company’s carrot/stick system will work for them.
- Critical thinking – Get an idea of how they think and process problems by asking for examples of their behaviour in similar situations.
- Company research – If a candidate has done no research about the company, he/she probably isn’t that serious about getting the job.
Avoid closed-ended questions
Closed ended questions, such as “did you get along with your co-workers?” do little to enhance your understanding of the candidate; all of the answers will be invariable. A similar open-ended question would be “How would your co-workers describe you?”
Only ask one question at a time
Bombarding a candidate with two or more questions will confuse them, resulting in partial or missed answers and disrupt the flow of the interview.
Avoid leading questions
Leading questions, such as, “We do a lot of spreadsheets here. Are you good at creating spreadsheets?” are a waste of time. You have already given the candidate the answer.
Keep hypothetical questions to a minimum
Although a hypothetical question or two can be great for divulging the creativeness, adroitness and general mindset of a candidate, understand that what someone says (and likely believes) they will do in a given situation can be inaccurate. Instead, focus on behavioural interview questions which ask a respondent to recall examples of how they previously handled certain situations. E.g. Tell me about a time when an unexpected crisis arose and describe how you dealt with it.
During the interview
When thinking about how to interview, you should have a system in place to maintain an optimal flow and productiveness.
Don’t interrupt the candidate unless he/she is off-topic
Even if someone is long-winded, give them a chance to finish. Otherwise, you could miss important information.
Our brains aren’t perfect; a few notes will help refresh your memory when auditing interviewees.
Always give the interviewee time to ask questions
This gives you an additional opportunity to see if the candidate has done their homework, and it allows them to discover things that could determine if it’s a fit for them too.
The post-interview process is rarely thought about in-depth when thinking about how to interview, but it is critical.
Check for inconsistencies
Inconsistencies with interview answers and a CV/resume could mean that a candidate is being dishonest.
Follow up with everyone
Just because you aren’t hiring someone doesn’t mean they won’t be important in your industry. Be respectful of the time and effort they put into your hiring process by responding to all your interviewees, even if it’s with a rejection.
Following these steps will enhance your ability to choose the right candidate.