performanceThe interview is an essential part in the process of selecting the right candidate for a job opening. This process must be utilized efficiently in order to make correct hiring decisions. The financial and often legal costs of a bad hire could be staggering, and it is important to know exactly what the interview is trying to achieve. It is also necessary to know what the interview process does, and perhaps more importantly, what it does not accomplish. The weight an interview process should carry in your overall hiring decision depends largely on the specific job requirements.

  1. The interview helps you do the following
    • Get a general sense about the personality, appearance and affability of the candidate. Determine if the candidate could fit into the social structure and work environment for which he/she is being hired. Would he/she get along with you and the staff? Make sure that the long term and short term goals of the candidate are aligned with your company’s long term goals.
  2. The interview should not be used as the only means of determining the following
  3. Do your homework
    • Before the interview, make sure you know the general direction that you want to lead the process towards. Also, make sure you have all the questions that you want to ask the candidate. You need to have a few cross check questions that ask the same question in different contexts for verification. Also cross-check with answers that were provided on any pre-interview application forms. Write the questions down or use a reference sheet. It is OK to let the interviewee lead the interview process somewhat. You still need to make sure that your most important questions and concerns are answered.
  4. The interview context
    • The context in which the interview is being conducted is very important. Do not forget that the interview is a two way process. The most suitable and skilled candidates often have many options. Therefore, you and your company are being evaluated by them at the same time that you are evaluating them. Use this opportunity to attract the candidate by showing your company’s positive sides and highlighting the potential of the position being offered.
  5. The interview location
    • Make sure that the interview is conducted in a proper office setting. Conducting interviews in Starbucks or in a restaurant is not professional.
  6. Multiple interviews
    • Conduct multiple interviews before making your final decision.
    • Feel free to bring the candidate back for second and sometimes even third interviews.
    • Have other people in your office conduct an interview and provide you with their impressions as well.
  7. The final decision
    • Do not get over excited or fixed on any candidate solely based on the interview: Remember that the interview is only part of a comprehensive candidate assessment and could be somewhat subjective. Some candidates are very good at shining during the interview, but fail to deliver when they get the position. Do not let your excitement cloud your judgment. Utilize the objective information gathered throughout the hiring process including the application form, skill and aptitude assessments, verifiable work history and reference check before making the final decision.

More Tips

  1. Indicators of a new employee’s low level of interest (things to watch out for):
    • Showing interest in a short term binding contract
    • Requesting special arrangements such as specific start and end times of workday
    • Asking for time off or vacation before hiring or during the first three months of being hired
    • Not being on time for the interview
    • Not being on time for the first day
    • Not responding to your emails or messages in a timely manner
  2. Check at least 3 references from three different previous employers/supervisors.
  3. Speak directly with the references as opposed to via email or recorded messages.
  4. Ask carefully crafted questions that cross check the information that is otherwise hard to verify; i.e. long term goals and aspirations, motivation to succeed and grow, specific life circumstances. Some of these answers should have already been provided by the candidate prior to the interview via an application form.
  5. Use a screening and evaluation system that filters the candidates based on objective criteria prior to the interview. Allow time for the interviews to be conducted properly.

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