Interviewing is a skill. And while it’s a skill many experienced hiring managers pride themselves on having cultivated, the best managers are always eager to learn more.
Here are ten tips to help you focus your interviews, so that you zero in on the best candidate for the position – every time.
- Understand the position. Interview questions should focus on the most important aspects of the job and the person who fills it – so start by talking to staff and supervisors to see what the real, day-to-day demands of the position are. Build interview questions around these, not around the job description.
- Consider the “big picture.” Where do you want the ideal candidate for this job to be in five years? Ten years? Craft a few questions that explore the candidate’s potential to grow into these areas.
- Get behavioral. Behavioral interview questions ask how a candidate has responded to situations in the past. This information provides a view into how the candidate is likely to respond in the future. Talk to your recruiter about the best behavioral questions to include in an interview.
- Question soft skills. Communication, time management, delegation, and similar “soft skills” are vital to developing leadership qualities and to team cohesion. Target the soft skills that are integral to your company’s mission, culture, and goals.
- Seek the quantifiable. How much money did the candidate save their last employer? How many people did they supervise? How long were they in charge of a project? Ask questions that demand concrete, quantifiable answers to gain a better measure of a candidate’s achievements.
- Use a rubric. A scoresheet or rubric will make it easier to compare candidates on a number of different variables – and to defend your hiring decision if it’s later challenged. Rubrics can also help you remember what impressed you about a particular candidate – or what stood out as a deal-breaker.
- Set time limits. Schedule your “interview season” well in advance of conducting interviews. You’ll keep your hiring process on track and increase your chances of making a decision while candidates are still fresh in your mind and engaged in the process.
- Sell the job. The best candidates aren’t just looking for work; they’re looking for a company whose culture meshes with their values and allows them to thrive. Sell the company culture to candidates in order to keep the top choices engaged and enthusiastic.
- Practice, practice, practice. Like all skills, interviewing improves with practice. Work with colleagues or friends to practice interviewing and to get feedback on your skills.
- Talk to your recruiter. Recruiters specialize in matching people to jobs, which means they have specialized insight in how interviews can be optimized for this purpose. Ask your recruiter for help crafting interview questions to help you target ideal candidates.
At THE RIGHT STAFF, LLC, our experienced Minnesota staffing partners can help you improve you interview process and make better hiring decisions from a highly qualified pool of candidates. Contact us today to learn more.