Interviewing can be intimidating, and not just for the person being interviewed. A lot of employers admit that they are not great interviewers and fear making the wrong hire because of it. Interviewing can also be time consuming and tiring work but there are ways to mitigate this pressure and make sure you are maximizing your time with each candidate.
Here are some basics to help:
1) Schedule Interviews When You are at Your Best
If you are not a morning person, it’s probably not ideal to schedule interviews first thing in the morning. If you seem to get frazzled and nervous during interviews, this also doesn’t give you anytime to prepare. Schedule interviews for later in the morning when you have had time to get to your desk, settle in and maybe review some of the key competencies you will need in a candidate.
If you get “hangry”, you probably shouldn’t be interviewing anyone right before lunch or at the very end of the day. All you will be able to think about is when your next meal is and every candidate will seem frustratingly inadequate. Instead, schedule your interviews for first thing in the morning or after you’ve had your sub sandwich for lunch.
If you are someone who gets noticeably tired in the afternoon or eager to start heading home, your interviews are probably best scheduled for in the morning.
Your mood can ultimately determine how you feel about a candidate and it may cause you to miss out on a great hire or settle for someone who really isn’t the best fit.
2) Define the Role You are Trying to Hire
Understanding and defining the role is the first step to setting up a successful interview process. There are different key competencies required for every role and understanding what those are will make a huge difference in the types of questions you ask each candidate.
Begin with the basics like title, compensation, and who they will report to. These are actually really important to candidate themselves and will attract certain types and levels of candidates. Defining the requirements is next; you want to make sure that you weed out candidates who don’t have the basic levels of education, experience, and skills. If not, the interview process will seem like it goes on forever. Next, make sure you understand the environment this person will be working in. What soft or personal skills will they need to have to fit in to the company environment. Lastly, you will want to define what the goals and objectives are for this role. If you know where you want to see this person in one year, two years and beyond, it will help make a hire that will stand the test of time and company growth.
3) Choose an Evaluation & Interview Process
Once you have a clear understanding of the role, you’ll want to decide on how you will evaluate and interview individual candidates so that you can make equal comparisons. Create a list of standard or basic pre-screening questions such as, educational requirements, citizenship status, technical skills, industry experience, and hard and soft skills. Decide whether or not candidates need to meet all requirements to be interviewed or if there are some things that can be compensated for. It is important to be consistent here.
Next, you’ll want to outline the interview process. Who will they interview with and when. Will there be initial phone screens, in-person, one-on-one, or panel interviews. At what stage will you bring in superiors or colleagues and when might you show them specific work samples. Here are a few steps to consider when structuring this process, interview by recruiter, skills testing, phone screen with hiring manager, in-person interview(s). The in-person interviews may consist of identifying whether or not the candidate is a culture fit and how they fit with existing team members.
It may seem like a daunting process to put all this together before an interview even takes place, but it will be worth it when you walk into that interview completely prepared. You’ll also appreciate the time you took on the front end when your new hire is thriving in their new role.