Here are 7 simple and important steps that will help you save time, evaluate candidates better and avoid mistakes when evaluating potential new members of the team.
1) When you get the resume -Take a moment to ask the recruiter:
What did you like about their experience?
Do you have any areas where you would like me to dig a little deeper?
Sometimes, recruiters will be guarded to answer some of these questions because they want you to create your own opinion, but assuming that you are working effectively as a team, the goal of this is to make the best decision for the organization.
2) Pick a couple of things from the resume to ask about - And look up! At the candidate. Remember, you are interviewing the person, not a piece of paper, so spend the time you have with the candidate evaluating not only what they are saying, but how they are saying it. Ask questions about their aptitude to fulfill the job you are hiring for. Plan 5-8 questions ahead of time. Listen to their words and evaluate their demeanor.
3) Avoid chit-chatting - This is never good for interviews. The moment you introduce yourself to the candidate, the interview starts - Avoid talking about how they got there, their families, kids, health or anything personal. Focus 100% on the task at hand - which is: Is this candidate going to add value to your organization?
A little extra (watch video for more):
A lot of interviewers get in trouble for asking inappropriate questions during an interview, especially "innocent" questions that reveal candidate's possible age, marital status, military status, etc.
If they volunteer information, that’s okay. But don't dig into it. Just move from the subject as quickly as you can and get back to your job-related questions.
4) Break the ice appropriately - If you find it weird to get straight to the interview questions, break the ice by getting them to tell you about their feelings around the opportunity in your company.
How did you find out about this job?
What do you like about our company?
What excites you the most about this position?
5) Do the least of the talking - Yes, answer their questions, tell them why you love to work there and what your responsibilities are, but be concise and allow most of the time to be for the candidate to talk. Remember, you are evaluating this person, so give them the chance to demonstrate how they are, think and what they can do.
6) Plan your time well - Start your interview on time and finish on time. It’s the most professional thing you can do. Also, leave time for the candidate to ask you questions.
7) Be a nice human being - Going through an interview is a stressful experience, so expect the candidates to be a little nervous. Make them feel that it is OK to feel that way.
Leadership Advice: Right after you are done with the interview, and in order to stay as objective as possible, make notes about what you liked about this candidate, any concerns or follow up questions you would like recruiters or next interviewers to ask.
Also, answer the question: If you had to decide right now, would you hire them? This is a YES or NO. And why YES or NO. This will help recruiters support you better and also keep your thoughts fresh during hiring decision meetings.
What’s your biggest challenge as an interviewer? Let me know in the comments. I'm happy to help answering questions or thoughts you may have!
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Mariana Jaeger is a Leadership Development and Performance Success expert and has successfully trained, mentored and coached hundreds of people in her career. To learn more about Mariana, click here