Getting the Most Out of An Interview

You’ve interviewed candidates over the phone and selected those who stood out for an in-person interview. Now it’s time for a different set of questions. How can you get the most out of an interview so you hire the best person? Here’s how.

How can you effectively assess each candidate?

The best way to do so is to prepare interview questions that assess their qualities and capabilities in advance. Look at the top performers in your company who are in similar positions. What qualities do they have? Are they distinguished by flexibility, collaboration, work ethic? What capabilities did they demonstrate? What skills are essential in doing the position? Develop a question for each important quality, capability and skill.

How many people should be involved?

Never try to interview alone. However, on the other hand, don’t have too many people. Three interviewers is a good number to shoot for. The person who will supervise the position, of course, should be involved in the interview. A staffing or human resources professional is another good choice, as their expertise in interviews and assessment will be valuable.

For the third, it depends on the position. A prospective colleague might give a good sense of whether the person will fit on the team. The supervisor’s boss might be a good choice for an upper level position.

How can you tell if it’s a good fit?

To assess fit, one strategy is to ask open-ended questions that have job candidates respond to situations very much like the ones they will be in. If the position requires a lot of multitasking, ask them what they would do if given multiple assignments with the same deadline. If the position requires familiarity with crunching data, ask them about past experiences.

Another strategy is simply to assess the comfort level of the supervisor and the other department interviewer, whether it’s a prospective colleague or the upper-level supervisor. Did they feel positive about the candidate’s enthusiasm and engagement? Could they visualize giving them an assignment tomorrow with positive results? Did they see a role for the person’s potential contribution to their team?

It’s important to get the most out of every interview so the right candidate is chosen. These three strategies will help you interview people productively going forward.

Want help with interviewing techniques and screening potential candidates? We can provide assistance and advice. Give us a call today.