Because it’s not just about who interviews the best – but about the practical resources they can bring to the table.
Job interviews are stressful for almost every single candidate applying for a position but can be just as stressful for recruitment or hiring managers, because there’s so much at stake – not least of which includes the costs that go into hiring a new person for the job.
With the right amount of planning, interview panel team and targeted questions aimed specifically at looking at experience, culture fit and abilities, you can easily ensure that the prospective candidate you’ll be offering the job to will be the right fit.
Top tips to ensure your interview process secures the best applicant for the position.
The interview process starts the moment you phone and schedule that interview
Remember while you’re looking to hire the perfect candidate, that candidate is screening you too.
So how you present yourself is important even before that potential employee walks in the door to sit down for the interview.
Recently Lillian Phiri Bususu, motivational speaker and career development practitioner’s tweet resulted in a firestorm of backlash after she tweeted that an unemployed graduate was entitled because he asked to reschedule an interview because he was busy.
Responses from various users brought home the following points:
that being unemployed certainly doesn’t mean you’re idle
sometimes being busy is code for a graduate having to find the money and means to get to the interview that tweets like these are exactly what frightens young graduates into going for interviews because this gives them the impression that they’re expected to do nothing but job hunt and be available on demand
It shows a lack of humanity, understanding and unwillingness to compromise because there are valid reasons that could very well not be taken into consideration here.
The last point is particularly vital given how important employer branding has become for many companies. Corporate companies that make the prospective employees feel awkward from the get-go could be a red flag for that candidate.
And even if time was a factor for the employer, that could have gently been pointed out and the candidate could have then been given the option as to what he/she would do. Usually rescheduling an appointment is often not a big deal, so putting a job candidate on blast for simply requesting a different time is more of a reflection on the person and the company the person is representing.
So key point: be polite and accommodating where possible. Behaviour like the above means losing a candidate who may have been the perfect candidate for the position.
The interview process
To avoid wasting your time, a good way to start would be to hold pre-screening calls.
According to Forbes.com, this provides you with an opportunity to get a general sense of the applicant
by asking about their work history, salary expectations, what they’re looking for in the company and most importantly what they’re not looking for.
If anything comes up in the call that cannot be accommodated from both sides, you will be able to get a general sense of who is fit for the job. You’ll also cut down on valuable time needed to interview candidates that align more closely with what you’re looking for in a future employee.
What questions to ask
With any good interview comes a set of tailor-made questions that most recruiters probably hate asking and candidates hate answering.
So how do you make the questions work in your favour?
According to The Muse.com, the questions you ask depend on really understanding and predefining what it is you want from the candidate
in terms of the role you’re creating.
It’s easy to ask the standard questions to get a general gist of what the interviewee is like, but if you really want to get to the heart of the matter, don’t just involve HR, but involve your employees who are filling similar roles to help tailor questions and scenarios according to common situations within the role.
Focus on questions that aren’t just generic but which provide you with proof in terms of examples of how they'd deal with situations, tangible examples of achievements and a strong sense of how they approach various workplace scenarios. Tailoring questions that ask interviewees to demonstrate knowledge of their working skills in relation to the list of requirements of the job role goes a long way in helping you to hone in on the truly qualified candidates.
Get a team panel involved
While this might be almost every single job candidate’s worst nightmare, having a team panel – particularly from different departments within your company can give you a strong sense of how the candidate will fit in – not just in the designated role, but within the company itself.
Diverse panel interviews also ensure that there you reduce the chances of unconscious biasedness creeping in.
According to interviewedge.com, being biased is something that we’re all guilty of in our everyday lives as well as in our work lives.
The problem when it comes to work life is that these biases often result in hiring that potential candidate simply because we make assumptions on whether they’d be a good fit based on preconceived notions about where they’ve studied, for example.
Having a panel not only helps to reduce biased assumptions from slipping through, but it also provides the panel with the opportunity to help the candidate understand more about the workplace’s culture.
Test your candidates
A good way to see whether the candidate is a good fit for the role is giving them an example of the kind of work they’d be required to do.
Applying for the role as a photo editor? Ask them to edit and correct flaws on a photograph. Candidate applying for to be a content producer? Ask them to proofread through a flawed work of text and provide them with some homework by asking them to submit a written piece on a specific subject.
Remember someone who poorly articulates and expresses themselves in an interview should never be dismissed. Take into account what they are able to do, and ask yourself if the scope of the job role also provides the opportunity for growth in areas that seemingly look like weaknesses.
Writer | Tammy February