How to make the most out of your interviews
Finding the perfect new hire is vital for any business, especially when you’re spending valuable time and resources on the recruitment process. Having reviewed a pile of applications and produced a shortlist of job hunters, you want to ensure you are getting the most out of the interview stage. After all, this is your first chance to meet your candidates face-to-face.
Know exactly what you’re looking for
When recruiting, you need to know exactly what you’re looking for in a hire, so you can structure your interview accordingly. Make sure you study the job description carefully, knowing exactly what level of skills and experience you’re after. It’s also a good idea at this point to decide what is desirable and what is absolutely essential in terms of skills, experience and personality. This will help you make a more informed decision when you meet with your candidate.
Plan your structure
As well as preparing the questions you want to ask, you should also decide on the structure of the interview. For example, will they be set a pre-interview task or will you require them to give a presentation. However you choose to set out the meeting, make sure you set aside enough time to get to know them – the last thing you want is to have to rush off!
Come up with a strong scoring system
During the interview, you want to give the candidate as much of your attention as possible. Plus you don’t want to miss what they’re saying. For this reason it’s extremely beneficial to put together a scoring system beforehand, that allows you to give them a rating as you go, but doesn’t draw your attention away from them by scribbling down too many notes.
For example, you might make a list of the criteria you’ve set out, with a rating system or a tick box next to each. This way, you can go through and tick the boxes as you ask your questions. That said, it can be helpful to jot down a few notes, especially when the time comes for reviewing the candidate and deciding whether to meet with them again.
Take everything with you
Last, but certainly not least, make sure you have everything you need! This includes a print out of their CV and the job description. You’ll also need your scoring sheet and the list of questions you plan to ask. Being over prepared will ensure a smooth and effective interview.
The same principles apply whether you are hiring for permanent employees, consultants or contractors.