Interviewing, while often dreaded, is a critical process. First, it is the first real impression a potential candidate has of your company. It reflects the company’s level of preparedness, organization, and professionalism. It is also the process that decides who you and your employees will be working alongside for (hopefully) quite a while! Obviously, these are things that matter to all people in the workplace, yet for various reasons, the attention these items deserve is often not given to them.
We’ve heard all kinds of faulty interview systems including “winging it”, keeping it casual, a rigid list of questions, and more. If you’ve resorted to any one of those or just can’t seem to get the right employees in your office, you need to read the following steps.
- What are your criteria?
This question should be answered before you begin writing the job listing. What tasks do they need to be able to perform? Start with the most basic responsibilities, moving all the way up to items that aren’t critical but still a possible part of the position.
Then, dig deeper. Try thinking of it in terms of what your office is missing. Consider your current employees and what traits you admire in them. Are they things you want more of? Or are you looking to find someone who complements those traits? For instance, maybe you have a plethora of well-organized Type A personalities and you need a creative mind that would benefit from the systems already in place.
- How can you measure the criteria?
It helps to break the criteria up into levels, beginning with the most critical. The number of levels you define will depend on how detailed your criteria are. Any interview will be significantly easier to look back on when you have categorized the candidates’ pros and cons into the appropriate level of criteria. It’s easy to compare different candidates because you’ve already decided each item’s level of importance.
- How can you go about this in a personable way?
All of the pre-work you have done, as tiring and tedious as it may have seemed, has prepared you for this moment…the interview. This is what makes all of those processes so important. Everything up until this point has simply been on paper, which means that this part HAS to be personal. You’ve seen their resume, their education, accomplishments, and skills. Now, you get the opportunity to talk about what YOU want to know. Question about something on their resume? Great. Ask it. But otherwise, this should be a time to see if how they present themselves matches up with what is lacking in your company.
Other steps you might consider incorporating into your hiring system, depending on the industry, could involve…
– Some sort of test-run where they perform duties in the office, on a worksite, or even at home to test their abilities in real-time.
– Performing a 2nd interview with someone outside of your circle, perhaps more of a ground-level employee or even someone from another sector of the company. The idea is to remove bias and get an alternative viewpoint.
– Doing a group interview can be a good option too, again, depending on the industry. This could be a group on the hiring side or even on the candidate side. Both serve different purposes.
These alternative options might be worth discussing with current employees. Remember that their insight into this process is key, as they landed the job at one point and have a very good idea of where the company is currently lacking. The variations of order and utilization of these choices are endless, so it’s up to you and your current team to figure out what your process will look like. Make tweaks as you see what doesn’t work, and permanently implement the things that do!
Overall, keep in mind that the more preparation you do beforehand, the more smoothly this whole process will go. Not to mention, it’s worth the hours on the front end to ensure you don’t have to go through the process again when you make the wrong hire.