Interviewing can be as stressful for hiring managers as it often is for candidates. This is especially true if it is your first time conducting an interview. You need to prepare for the discussion, begin talking, find out who the candidate is and how they work, then finish the conversation. Moving through these phases can help you remain focused and confident as you gain greater insight into the candidates you talk with.
Follow these guidelines to increase your odds of finding and keeping the best hire for your team.
Clarify Your Hiring Needs
Talk with your recruitment team about what your hiring needs are. Include the hard and soft skills the candidate needs to fill the position. Examples include the ability to clearly communicate, analyze data, and build relationships. Also, clarify the job responsibilities and how they contribute to the company mission. Use the information to develop a plan for the interview. This includes the questions you want to ask at each phase of the process to find the information you need. It also involves preparation for questions the candidates may ask, such as what the compensation range and benefits package are like.
Review the Applications
Learn all you can about the candidates’ education, skills, and experience. Pay attention to their work environments, competencies, and career trajectories. Look for points where you may have personal connections, such as common members of your network or former workplaces. Use the information to personalize your interview questions. Be sure to reference each candidate’s resume to show you spent time getting to know them in advance.
Begin the Interview
Start each interview with an icebreaker question. This helps form a personal connection with the candidate and puts them at ease. Perhaps they were introduced to you by someone you know, or their resume showed they attended the same school as you. Include lots of eye contact, smiles, curiosity, and warmth to establish rapport.
Establish the Candidate’s Competencies
Ask the candidate what makes them good at their current or last job. You want to ensure they have the skills needed to perform the tasks of the role. Be sure to ask follow-up questions to clarify what the work was and how the candidate completed it. Find out specifics to gain a better picture of who they are and how they interact with others. Use the information to determine whether the candidate matches your requirements.
Outline the Next Steps
Once you have asked or answered all of your and the candidate’s questions, let the candidate know what to expect next. Explain what the process will be like, who the candidate will meet with, how long it should take, and some tips for preparation.
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