The interview process is at the core of hiring new employees, but many businesses still do not prioritize it. If you are of the mindset that you can simply manage your interview on the spot, you may not be aware of the benefits of taking the time to professionalize your interviewing. Remember that the people you hire today will be managing the company tomorrow. Take a look at the following short guide to get a better idea of what tactics can dramatically improve your interviewing strategy.
Who Are You Interviewing?
The first mistake that many business owners or managers make is assuming that the interview process starts with the interview itself. Remember that you must first decide who you are going to call in for an interview. If you are a smaller business, you may choose to interview all candidates, but it is far more likely that you will be reading resumes, performing brief phone interviews, and reviewing information to decide who may be a finalist. No amount of incredible interviewing will improve the quality of candidates that you have, so always dedicate enough time to reviewing all applications. While the step of choosing candidates to call for an interview is important, there is one more step that you need to also prioritize. The job description and position posting that you make public will determine which candidates you have to choose from. When you professionalize your interviewing, start with the foundation and work from there.
Next, prepare the questions that you will ask in the interview. For the interviewee and your own benefit, it is important that you do this step before you start doing interviews. This will ensure that each candidate has the same opportunity to be hired, but it will also make it much easier for you to decide which applicants stand out among the rest. Of course, you should not be afraid to follow up on answers with personalized questions, but always start in the same place. One of the best ways you can professionalize your interviewing is to record every interview. An objective record will keep everything consistent and make it much easier to compare applicants. Additionally, other authorities that could not be present in the interview can get a feel for the candidates. It is sometimes suggested that each listener ranks each candidate for each question on a scale of one to five. This provides a very objective and clear way to find the most qualified individuals.
Mix of Hard Skills and Soft Attributes Questions
While it is most common for interviewers to focus on the hard skill questions, sometimes interviews contain too many behavior inquiries. The best interviews have a healthy balance of both these types of questions. After preparing a first draft of questions, analyze it for what category most them fall into. Then, when interviewing, make an effort to focus on the kind you are not naturally comfortable with. You are most likely already familiar with hard skill questions. These are the kinds of inquiries that deal with the candidates’ capabilities, experiences, and accomplishments. Softer, attribute-based questions deal with their mindset and decision making process or more personal traits. These are important if you want to professionalize your interviewing because they ensure the interviewee is a good fit with your company culture and with the current employees. These questions are especially useful if you are looking to hire a specific kind of person, such as a ïteam playerï or ïself-starterï.
Know What the Legal Restrictions Are
Every interview has an element of improvisation. You should work to minimize it, but it is beneficial to think on your feet. This aspect of performing interviews can make it tricky to avoid straying into questionable topics. Any discrimination, or even accusations of discrimination, regardless of whether it was intentional or even factual, can immediately halt a company’s growth. It is best to be completely familiar with what you can and cannot ask so you are never in danger. Remember, you are not allowed to inquire about protected characteristics, such as marital status, nationality, sexuality, religion, ethnic background, or even age. A simple rule of thumb that can help you always keep on track is to ensure each question is about the job and not the candidate. You are trying to find information regarding the candidate, but only through the filter of the job. Otherwise, you could be accused of discriminatory hiring practices.
Mighty Recruiter has you covered when you are trying to professionalize your interviewing. More information is available about how to improve your interviewing skills, as well as many other business operation related topics.