Interviewing, and the interview process, is obviously a pretty vital component in the recruitment process, yet it’s often overlooked on the employer’s side. There are a million and one readily available blogs online written with the candidate in mind, but not that many written for a recruiter.
The interview is naturally one of the final hurdles in the recruitment process and, after weeding out the other candidates, you’re now sitting face-to-face with someone who could be, or not, working with you for the foreseeable future. You need to get this last bit right otherwise it could be costly.
Here are our top tips and techniques to nailing the interview process:
Create clearly defined objectives:
You should also try to establish if their aspirations, needs and interests are a match for your organisation. Remember that it is not only a match of skills and experience that you are looking for – you need to determine whether they are likely to fit in well with your existing team and company ethos.
If they don’t fit in or feel their aspirations/needs aren’t being catered for, your new employee will soon start looking elsewhere.
Before starting the interview itself, set down some ‘house rules’, to help keep the interview in control, and make sure that the interview doesn’t go over time. It also gives the applicant an idea of what is expected from them:
First things first
The interview begins the moment your candidate walks through the door. You will have already sent them an email detailing the name and job title or position within the company of the person conducting the interview. The email will also state travel directions – nearest tube or rail station, car parking, any local details to help locate the building (e.g. opposite the library, enter through the blue door at the side of the main entrance etc). You must make sure that your receptionist, security guard, or whoever the candidate sees first knows that they are coming, and knows who they are going to meet with so that they can give them a warm and confident welcome. And then they should offer your interviewee a cup of tea, coffee or water.
Ease into it
Obviously, your candidates are going to be very nervous, therefore, it’s important to make sure that you are relaxed, friendly and prepared. If a candidate feels nervous or intimidated you are less likely to get a good idea of their true personality or capabilities.
Smile! Let your candidates know you’re glad to meet them. Also, express your appreciation for the time they’ve taken to come in. Explain how the interview will proceed (logistics) and then try to follow that format as closely as possible.
If you don’t make the interview as relaxing as possible, you will end up only hiring people who are cool and calm in interviews, which may not be quite the case when it comes to actually doing the job in hand.
Open-ended questions – a must
A job interview allows candidates to expand on their CV and demonstrate their vast and necessary industry knowledge.
By asking candidates good open-ended questions that are targeted to your industry you can really open the doors of discussion, often leading to information that you would have otherwise missed. After all, you’re in the business of hiring someone, this is a candidate’s opportunity to sell themselves to you, so let them!
Open-ended questions begin with: who, what, where, when, why and how.
Ask behavioural questions
Behavioural questions require an applicant to give examples of past experiences, and how they may have responded in previous situations in the work place.
Here are a few examples of behavioural questions:
Past history is a good predictor of future behaviour. If an applicant has a history of doing something, or acting in a certain way, chances are they will continue doing so.