Interviewing Part 1 – Before And During The Interview

This is the first in a series of sections about interviewing, hiring employees, and what to do after the hire. I have created 6 parts, or sections, to help keep the content smaller per section, and to help make it more readable for everyone.

Interviewing employees may seem like an easy thing to do; however, conducting an effective interview is a little more challenging than just sitting down and asking a few questions. You really have to look at the interviewees resume, ask specific questions about the interviewee’s experience, ask pertinent questions, and evaluate the answers based on your business model and your idea of the ideal employee.

Start by reviewing resumes to decide who you would like to learn more about. Conduct an initial phone screen. This tactic is useful because it catches people on their toes. They are not expecting the call and have no time to prepare. Ask general questions, such as ‘can you tell me a little about yourself’ or ‘what type of job are you looking for?’ At that time you can decide whether to invite the candidate for a personal interview.

Your goal in the interview process is to zero in on the best candidate in the shortest amount of time. In this stage you are weighing certain qualities of the candidate against what you think a great employee should be and how much they should earn. Go by your gut instinct and what kind of experience they have. Ability and willingness is key. Is the person able to do the job, but more importantly, are they willing to do the job?

Collect and Verify Information

  • Always scan resumes for job gaps, bouncing or short stints at different jobs.
  • Look for multiple typos and neatness. Did the candidate bring another copy of their resume to the interview? This way you can see if they have changed anything on their resume.
  • Have them fill out an employment application and compare information. Did they bring a pen or information for references, etc.? These can be early indicators to the level of organization and detail assumed.

During the interview

  • Make the candidate comfortable. Offer them a seat and a glass of water.
  • Eliminate any physical barriers such as desks or chairs.
  • Don’t answer calls or do business during the interview.
  • Through the in-store interview process, you can determine several things that are undetectable over the phone:
    • Is the candidate punctual?
    • Is the candidate’s appearance professional?
    • Is the potential employees’ body language confident?
    • Do they come across as personable and likeable?
  • Allow to the prospective employee to talk first.
  • Allow them to volunteer as much information as possible with little direction or guidance.
  • This will prevent interviewees from tailoring their answers to fit your interviewing style or the way you preface questions.
  • You should get more truthful responses to help make a better decision.
  • If the candidate does not readily volunteer information, stare at them. It is a natural human tendency to become uncomfortable by a silent stare. To break this discomfort, the candidate will likely start talking and volunteering more information.

In Part 2 we will discuss what to ask the interviewee.

Have you ever interviewed potential employees? Have you followed steps similar to these in the process?

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