Blog, Human Resources

Job Interview Tips for Employers


When hiring potential employees, there’s no guarantee you’ll get the best person. Some people interview well but their performance doesn’t match. But if you do your homework and know who you’re looking for, the chances of finding the right hire increase.

As a hiring manager, you must decide what kind of person you want in the role. Are you looking for experience, or are you willing to mentor someone who may not have the exact credentials but has the enthusiasm and willingness to learn? Are you looking for someone who simply follows along, or someone who challenges the status quo?

Write down what your ideal candidate looks like – hard and soft skills, experience, personality traits – then create questions that will help you find that person. You also need to answer your own questions so you can compare answers given. Then decide on a rating system for responses.Many hiring managers choose to begin with phone interviews, asking preliminary questions to gauge how candidates respond, as well as to find out details like their expected salary range.

Once you’ve picked your shortlist of applicants to interview in person, each candidate should be asked the same questions and judged on the same rating system. Candidates should be interviewed by at least two people. You may also want to include an interviewer who has done the job previously and may have unique questions and insights regarding the role. Each interviewer should be equipped with a pen and paper (or a laptop), the job description, and water, which should also be given to the candidate.

Begin with introductions and a warm-up question, which often helps to relax the candidate and set them up for success. They may also offer surprising answers, which will help you get to know them a little better.

During the interview, each interviewer should ask a couple of questions before moving on to the next, offering a natural flow and giving everyone the opportunity to take notes and watch the behaviour of the candidate – are they making eye contact? Are they acting in a professional and courteous manner? Can they communicate ideas? Are they experienced and knowledgeable about the role?

Questions should be a mix of situational (“If this happened, what would you do?”) and behavioural, where a person is asked to describe a past situation and how they dealt with it using the STAR method (Situation, Task, Action and Result). Allow the candidate to reflect on the question and don’t immediately prompt or lead the answer. Let the candidate think and, if necessary, rework the question.

Depending on the position, a test – either written or verbal – can help gauge whether the person is right for the job. At the end of the interview, thank people for their time, ask them for their references (a minimum of three in order to get as broad a perspective as possible), and advise them on the next steps, including when you’ll get back to them.

Immediately after the interview, and before you conduct another, make notes about your impressions and compare the answers given to the answers you were looking for. Did the candidate answer the questions or deflect them? Rate their responses.

Follow up on their references, asking each person the same question and then make your decision. Call each of your potential candidates to let them know you made a decision and provide feedback.By knowing what you want and doing your homework, you should find the perfect employee. 

 

 – Lisa Day

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