After sifting through countless applications, you finally nailed down a few key applicants. Now what? Well, for one thing, don’t neglect the interview preparation process. This is an important part the overall evaluation and can help you make a much more informed decision. Here are some easy ways to avoid five of the most common mistakes that hiring managers make.
Neglecting Your Research
You probably don’t have time to weed out every single applicant through extensive research. After all, that’s what resumes are for. However, once you’ve selected your pool of candidates, spend a little time on their Linkedin and social media profiles. More often than not, online profiles include things that you may not find on a resume. If you’re lucky, you might even place a face to the name. Either way, research is a necessary part of interview preparation. You don’t need conduct a full FBI investigation, but getting a sense for a person’s personality might generate a few icebreakers or common interests to draw from once you’re face-to-face. Don’t worry; this is no longer considering stalking.
Failing to Clearly Define the Role
A clear job description is important for both your candidates and your internal team. How are you going to evaluate a person’s skills if you don’t know what you are looking for? First, get your team together in one room. Allow each member to state what he or she thinks the new hire should bring to the table. If you’re creating a new position, lead an open discussion about the strengths, weaknesses and needs of the current department. Most importantly, use this opportunity to establish a ranking system for experiences and accomplishments. This will help you confidently determine which applicants are the most competitive for the role.
Failing to Keep Score
Even the sharpest minds can forget the details, and checklists are not just for shopping and chores. Good interview preparation means collecting the right tools. Type out a document outlining your specific criteria, and use it in the interview as an itinerary of sorts. For each category, rank the candidate on an actual numbered scale. Then, write down as much of the interview answers as you can. When you’re finished, you’ll have both quantitative and qualitative data to reference when you perform the final evaluation. As a side note, it’s always a good idea to have multiple people interview each prospective employee. If you don’t want to conduct multiple sessions, simply gather everyone together in a conference-like setting. While some may argue that this is bombarding to the interviewee, others claim that it actually creates a more down-to-earth environment. Whatever method you decide on, try to get as many scorecards filled out as possible.
Talking Too Much
An interview should be a two-way conversation, but keep in mind that you are the assessor. If you find yourself doing most of the talking, you’re likely not getting all of the information you need. Likewise, your chosen candidate may feel uneasy about accepting your eventual offer. Consider three basic steps when conducting your discussion: 1. Ask open-ended questions. A resume can give you answers to most yes-or-no questions. When face-to-face with your candidate, use inquiries that generate thoughtful responses. A good candidate will have done his or her own interview preparation and thus be ready for this type of questioning. 2. Listen. Avoid interrupting and let your candidate lead the discussion. This will help you better evaluate analytical and critical-thinking skills. Furthermore, it gives the person a chance to showcase his or her personality. 3. Ask a follow-up question. If you want to get an idea of how a person reacts on the spot, follow up with a ïwhyï or ïhow.ï You might even consider presenting a hypothetical scenario for which the candidate must explain how he or she would solve a particular problem. Repeat this process, and you’ll likely be more comfortable with your final decision.
Failing to Use Your Scorecard
A good debriefing is an important part of your evaluation, and the sooner you conduct it, the more productive it will be. Just like you did during your initial interview preparation, bring everyone together in one room after all the candidates have been seen. This can actually be a fun meeting for your existing team, as you’ll be surprised at what goes unnoticed. A little preparation can make you much more confident during the interview process and when you make your final hiring decision. For more great employer tips, check out the valuable resources here at Livecareer.