Job Interview Process: The 3 Primary Interviewing Stages
The job interview process is definitely not the same for every company. Your methods may vary depending on the role you’re attempting to fill. Perhaps you’ve got a team of sidekicks to weigh in on the final decision. Alternatively, maybe you’re the only one who will actually meet the candidates. Either way, you’ll be better able to make an objective decision by considering some of the following tips during each stage of evaluation.
Pre-Screening: The Phone Interview
After narrowing down your options, you’ll begin with the phone interview. If you’re a proactive hiring manager, you will have been fully involved with the weed-out process.
A phone screening is an excellent way to save time for everyone involved. For many companies, this duty falls to the human resources department. This is a good opportunity to ask about a candidate’s general goals, expectations and background. Consider the following questions:
-How did you find out about the position
-Why are you looking to leave your current employer
-What are your salary expectations
-What benefits are you currently receiving from your current employer
-Do you regularly work overtime
-When and what was your last promotion
-What initially drew you to our company
-Are you open to relocation
This is where you identity the obvious disqualifiers, and yes-or-no questions are perfectly acceptable during this stage of the job interview process. Resumes usually don’t include things like salary requirements. If compensation is non-negotiable for either party, you’ve got an automatic answer about how to proceed. By spending a few minutes over the phone, you can easily determine which candidates are worth pursuing.
Meeting: The Face-to-Face Interview
This is where you dig into the ïwhyï and ïhow.ï In most cases, the in-person meeting is the most important part of the job interview process. It’s your chance to get to know your applicants by allowing each one to lead the discussion and showcase his or her soft skills, personality and analytical abilities. Try to foster an open atmosphere by being transparent, personable and ready to listen. Above all, you must go into the meeting having thoroughly outlined your plan of action. Here are a few things should bring to the table:
1.A written agenda detailing specific time slots for multiple interviewers
2.A list of criteria and corresponding ranking scales
3.A list of topics, including critical and supplemental questions
The job interview process requires preparation from both parties. Not only does this make your company look good, but it also prevents you from forgetting important topics. Moreover, use the face-to-face time to ask thought-provoking questions. Obviously, you’ll need to ask about specific skills, competencies, experiences and accomplishments, but it’s also wise to nail down a candidate’s long-term potential. Here are a few examples:
-How does this job match your current career goals
-If you stayed with your current employer, when would you expect your next salary increase
-Are you currently weighing any pending offers
-If we were to bring you on, when would you be available to start
-How would this job help you secure a different position with a outside company later down the road
-Is there anything that might convince you to stay with your current employer
Try not to shy away from this line of in-your-face questioning. It’s a perfectly appropriate method, and you’ll learn a lot about the way each candidate thinks and plans. Plus, it shows that you care, whether you do or not.
Verifying: The Reference Check
What if you find the perfect candidate, you’re tired of the job interview process and you want to cut to the chase Simply put, you’d be wise to avoid hiring on the spot. A reference check is always a good idea, particularly if you don’t plan on doing a background or drug screening.
The only person who can truly attest to your candidate’s daily work ethic is a former or current co-worker. Ideally, this reference should be a manager or supervisor. In any case, here are a few questions to ask, assuming you’ve just interviewed Heather:
-Would you ever rehire Heather
-Do you recall her showing up late
-On a scale of 1 to 10, how would you rate Heather’s overall performance
-What is Heather’s typical reaction to pressure
-How does she respond to criticism
-What gets Heather motivated
Whether you hold one, two or even three rounds of interviews, you can save a lot of time with the right battle plan. For more ways to maximize your job interview process, look to the great resources available here at Livecareer.