Putting The “I” Back In Interview: Four Tips for Conducting an Effective Hiring Interview

August 17, 2011
Posted by Mark Penick - Franchisee, Link Staffing of Austin

If you’re a manager or business owner, you depend on your team to make you successful. That makes good hiring practices essential for success. And at the heart of good hiring is the interview. Every time you interview a candidate for a job you have the opportunity to improve the quality of your team, …or not. Conducting a good one is an art in itself. Here are a few tips to improve your interview artistry:

  1. Interview the “who,” not the “what.”

It’s easy to find out what the person has done, but you need to find out who the candidate IS. Prior job experience is important, but no more so than hiring people who are talented and share your values, principles, and standards. Probe to understand their values and ethics. Whenever possible, you should hire for quality and train for skills.

  1. Develop an interview guideline, then guide the interview.

Create an interview plan, so to speak, to use as you conduct the interview.  Make sure to look over the candidate’s background and experience prior to the interview and map out your questions in advance. Using open-ended questions helps guide the interview where you want it to go. If you can do this, you’ll wind up with the information you need to make an informed decision.

  1. Conduct a thorough, focused, interruption-free interview.

Do all you can do to give the applicant your undivided attention.  Adopt a policy of putting every call, duty, or distraction aside until the interview is over. You may miss some important information if you are distracted and the applicant may think you are inconsiderate for not paying attention.

  1. Open up to your candidate about areas in your company they can improve.

Don’t hesitate to educate the applicant about the areas of improvement your operation is focused on, and your need to hire a team to make things better, especially when speaking to internal candidates. By opening yourself up to the applicant, you stand a better chance of getting them to open up to you, improving the quality of transparency in the interview.



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