The Hiring Process: Interviewing Potential Job Candidates


image_012While vast amounts of resources exist, there is no perfect answer to selecting the right person for your organization. Nevertheless, the interview is a tremendous link in the hiring process. When used effectively, your hiring team can get more out of the interview to help you make better hiring decisions.

Interviewing potential job candidates is one of the last steps in the hiring process. There are actions that precede meeting with candidates to discuss a job opening. It is best to make sure that your recruiting team completes these actions, which will have a direct impact on the effectiveness of the interviews.

Objectives for Interviewing Candidates

Essentially, there are five objectives for every job interview. Accomplishing all five shows how well you are prepared to introduce your organization and position to people who have applied for the job.

1. Collect relevant information about the potential candidate
2. Describe position and expectations of the job
3. Assess how well the job candidate may fit into the position and corporate culture
4. Educate job candidate about the culture and purpose for the organization’s existence
5. Answer any of the candidate’s questions

Plan the Interview

Keep in mind that the interview begins before you sit down with a candidate. In preparation, make sure that you:

• Review the job description
• Prepare questions that focus on skills, abilities and past work performances
• Determine measurable criteria for comparing and analyzing each candidate
• Decide if a panel or one-on-one interview style is appropriate
• Review all documents from job candidates
• Prepare applicable tests that relate to job skills

During the Interview

Give the job candidate space to formulate answers that demonstrate a good fit for your company’s needs. Do this without offering too many details upfront and possibly putting words into the candidate’s mouth.

Ask questions that provide insight into the candidate’s past work performances. For example, if the open position demands organization skills, you might ask, “How do you keep track of desk work and schedules?” Pay attention to how the candidate listens and responds.

Arrange to conduct the interview in a private and reasonably comfortable room. With a solid list of questions and ample preparation time, you are in a stronger position to turn job candidates into productive employees.