Top Interview Strategies: Part II

A couple weeks ago we divulged Pre-Check’s top interview strategies and how to overcome certain hiring obstacles to you. Today we’re sharing our research on other companies’ and individuals’ interviewing methods, advice, and best practices they have found effective in choosing the right candidate. We’ve summarized our findings below:

Be Prepared

Research the candidate: Chances are your interviewee has already been phone screened either by you or an appointed employee. You’ve reviewed their resume, you’ve chatted them up, and now it’s time to meet them. Have you done any additional research? It wouldn’t hurt to look them up online to see if they have any public information on social media sites, such as LinkedIn or Facebook. You might gain some valuable information to ask your candidate about, like an achievement or experience they can expand on.

Fully understand the job and its roles: Be sure you are qualified to ask the important questions and make the hiring decision for the job position at hand. Do you know the specifications and demands that position requires? Will you be able to pull the detailed information from the applicant to determine if they are indeed qualified for the job? Don’t be afraid to ask for assistance in the interviewing process from another employee who can provide useful information and insight.

Know your ideal candidate: Yes, you should have an idea formed of what your ideal candidate and employee will look like in terms of personality, qualifications, and goals. This way, you will be better prepared to select the candidate that most closely matches what you’ve envisioned. However, we also suggest keeping an open mind while interviewing. If you are unsure if a candidate will be a good fit, ask them to come in for a second interview. Sometimes a first impression is not the best impression!

Use Different Techniques

Don’t disregard the soft skills: Hard skills such as using a program or transferring phone calls can always be taught. Therefore, soft skills like personality traits and behaviors can often outweigh the hard skills. To understand an interviewee’s soft skills, try asking open-ended questions (questions that cannot simply be answered ‘yes’ or ‘no’). For example, “Tell me why you decided to get into the sales industry?” or “Why did you leave company XYZ?” By listening closely to the candidate’s response, you can better understand their personality and soft skills.

High-pressure interviews: Does the position the candidate is interviewing for require being able to handle stress in a fast-paced environment? Try deviating from the traditional one-on-one interview for a more high-pressure tactic: a group interview. This involves having several employees question the interviewee at the same time. It is an effective way to see how a candidate responds to different types of people and how they multi-task in a short amount of time.

Gauge their perception and observations: According to Business Times, it can be a great idea to have your interviewee sit in an area with your employees for 10 – 15 minutes before their interview. This allows them to make conversation, ask questions, and see how they interact together. Observing their interaction is a good way to get a sense of their personality and how they will get along with the team. Once the interview begins, you can ask them about their impressions of your employees. Are they accurate perceptions?

Remain Legal and Ethical

Know what you can and cannot ask: Depending on your state’s laws, there are bound to be specific questions you can and cannot ask. For example, in the state of Ohio, you cannot ask a candidate if they have been convicted of any misdemeanors or felonies until you have submitted an offer. Another scenario might involve interviewing a woman; you cannot ask her if she is pregnant or how old she is (restrictions on asking age applies to men, too). Be sure to consult with your legal advice if you do not know what you can legally ask during an interview.

Leave the interviewing to Human Resources: If you are unsure about what questions you can and cannot ask, or what you should or should not ask, leave the interviews up to Human Resources. They will be better prepared and able to ask the right questions and understand and comply with the current laws in place surrounding interviewing and hiring.

Bonus Tip!

Consider having with the final candidate having a 3 or 4-hour on-the-job trial performing their potential role.  The candidate would be able to determine if they liked the position that they were hired for, and the employer would have an insightful experience about how the candidate would perform on the job.

Sources: Monster, Inc., Business Time, HR Resolutions

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Posted by Sandra Shinn in General


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