When looking to hire new team members to help your business grow, the interview process is key to making the right decisions. With careful planning, well-crafted questions and a candidate evaluation system, you can find the best people to join your staff. By mastering the art of the interview, you can:
- Differentiate between equally qualified candidates.
- Determine if someone would fit in your corporate (or not-so-corporate) culture.
- Distinguish key traits that could help or hinder your efforts.
Keep it legalIt's illegal to ask a prospective employee certain questions. Queries about marriage status, age, religion, disabilities, citizenship and drug or alcohol use can put your business at risk for a discrimination lawsuit. Make sure you understand what you can and can't ask legally.
Choose an appropriate interview formatDo an initial "screening" interview on the phone or even online to determine if your job candidate is worth bringing in for a face-to-face talk.
Ask the best interview questionsTailor your interview questions to the specific position you're filling. Try some "behavioral" questions during the interview:"Describe a situation in which you were able to..." Behavioral interviewing is based on the belief that a person's past behavior and performance is an indicator of their future behavior and performance
Evaluate intervieweesBe sure to evaluate all applicants in the same way, and have a system to compare their skills and personalities. Use a form to check skill levels, education and training and also note salary requirements.
- Schedule adequate time for each interview and try to avoid interruptions and distractions. Stay focused and listen carefully.
- Be prepared. Take a few minutes to review the candidate's résumé and any other materials before the interview.
- Treat each candidate with respect. Remember, you need them just as much as they need you.
- Even if you normally have a casual working environment, set an example by dressing and acting professionally.