Hiring Smart:

There are steps that need to be accomplished before an interview takes place. Initially, it is important to determine what your company is looking to accomplish in filling the position and any pertinent facts regarding the job.

Successful Interviewing:

Set the tone of the interview- You should decide what type of interview is necessary and how the interview will evolve. Individuals conducting interviews set the approach they want to take and decide how to get the most out of each interview.

Create a comfortable interaction. Helping the applicant relax allows for a truer representation of his or her personality. This is a key point when trying to make the right fit for the position and, more importantly, for the organization. The interview process is two-sided. The candidate is conducting his or her own interview of your organization to assess if it might be a good fit.

Interviewing Questions

Use the job criteria to formulate specific questions regarding the position needed to be filled. It is also important to customize questions that relate to the specific background of the individual. This can be accomplished by reviewing the person's background before the interview, which can be achieved by either reading the resume or by prescreening the candidate on the phone.

Spending time to prepare will allow you to maximize the interview. Make sure that the candidate is talking more than you, which can be controlled by asking open-ended questions. When forming the questions, it is important to go back to our analysis of the position and what is going to be needed to maximize the strength of your organization.

Here are sets of questions that can assist you in the interview

What do you know about our company?

A quality applicant would have done the necessary homework to answer the question. This displays the level of interest the person has in the job and your company.

What did you gain from your last job and what would you have changed? Describe an obstacle that you encountered at your last job?
How did you overcome that?
This allows you to determine his/her problem solving skills and if there was a personal drive to overcome the problem.
What expectations do you have for the next company you work for?
Where do you see yourself in 5 years?

This allows you to see what long-term goals that the individual set for himself or herself.

What motivates you?
Do you work well as a team?
What was the last project you took part in and how many people were involved? What were your responsibilities?

You will need to review this information at a later time, so make sure that you are documenting the answers.

Set expectations for the job

During the interview it is important for you to discuss what expectations the organization has for the new employee. This will allow him/her to decide if it is what they are seeking. If you do not share this information it will not only waste your time in the hiring process, but will lead to turnover as well. Asking them if they have any questions about it will clarify any gray areas that exist.

Reference Checking

At least two quality references from direct supervisors or managers is a must when hiring someone. In-depth references will supply information on the person's skills, experiences, strengths, and weaknesses. Prepare quality questions you want to ask the references, such as:

  • How long did they work for you?
  • What were their job responsibilities?
  • How were their attendance, communication skills, ethics, team working, and problem solving skills?
  • How would you rate their technical skills?
  • What was their strongest asset to the company?
  • What area could he/she improve?
  • Are they eligible for rehire?
  • Is there anybody else you recommend I speak with at your company that would have some good feedback for me?


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