Interviewing potential employees is a tricky process. Although resources abound for employees seeking job interview secrets, interviewing potential employees seems to have eluded the media. The dearth of information seems out of step with the risk and rewards of hiring a new employee, though.
If you’ve been asked to hire a new employee, you face a big challenge. Your ability to choose a successful new hire will signal your management skills. Your new employee will interact with other employees and perhaps even with clients, vendors and stakeholders. And those people will often judge you on how they perceive your new hire. Moreover, the results your employee delivers will affect how others see you.
Tips for interviewing potential employees
In interviewing potential employees, take care. Careful planning can help you hire a star performer who’ll make you shine too. Try these tips, so you can avoid interview pitfalls and future management dilemmas:
- Screen resumes carefully. Most people spend 30 seconds reviewing a resume. Try spending more time on those you shortlist.
- Carry out phone interviews. If reviewing resumes left you with unanswered questions, call the candidate for more information. Don’t waste time with an in person interview until you’re sure you want to interview the candidate.
- Develop a profile for someone who would suit the position. Identify key skills and traits.
- Prepare questions in advance. To be fair, you should ask each candidate the same questions. Otherwise, you may struggle with evaluating the results.
- Focus on questions that will help you evaluate how the candidate will perform in the role. Questions like, “If you were a tree, what kind would you be?” and “Where do you see yourself in five years?” have some merit, but they don’t help you evaluate job-specific skills.
- Take notes. They’ll help jog your memory and may help with legal issues, should any arise.
- Prepare for questions. Try to anticipate what the interviewee might ask. Get information before the interview. Your openness and confidence may help sway key candidates.
By planning for the job interview process, you’ll be more prepared to evaluate applicants. The better your information and analysis, the better your chances of hiring the right person will be.
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