How to conduct a good job interview?
In order to be a good recruiter, you’ll have to be efficient in finding the most suitable candidate for your organization. While knowing how to attract good employees and pre-screening them is important, the definition stage of this process is the interview phase, as it represents the last milestone before a decision has to be made. To conduct a good job interview, the thought process should be centered around evaluating a complete stranger within a short time and getting the most out of it.
A large amount of time will be spent preparing questions to qualify the candidate for the position and making the company appealing to potential candidates. Throughout this guide, we will tackle answers to questions such as – What qualifies an applicant for the job? What is the work ethic of potential prospects? What is consistent as a good job interview? Having these criteria in mind will make the difference between what to do and what mistakes to avoid.
Table of Contents
Asking the right questions
As a starting step, a good idea would be to prepare a set of questions that would help you assess the compatibility between the organization and the applicant. The first objective would be to figure out what you are interested in seeing from a candidate. The ideal way of approaching this is to assess by comparison. Try and identify top-performing people working within the role and industry and figure out what qualities they have in common, what resources they are using to do their work, and develop themselves. This method might help you create a bridge between what assets to look for and what assets your candidates currently possess. Think of it as data mining for the hiring process – this information will further enable you to set criteria and create relevant questions.
Of course, the roles you search for in best-performing employees might differ due to industry specificity. Therefore, it would be good practice to include the current company employees working in those roles. Start by asking what the daily responsibilities are, how they tackle them and how much time it takes to complete them. The purpose behind these questions is to have a quality rating overview of what is considered to be a good or bad answer.
Besides ranking candidates based on their skills, it could be a good idea also to ask them personality-related questions. These types of questions can often bring valuable insight into how an individual would approach a problem and the mindset behind solving it. Simultaneously, asking them context-specific questions such as “What would you do in case of …” might also reveal discrepancies. For example, let’s imagine you are recruiting someone for the sales department.
While their resume dictates they have the necessary know-how to perform these duties, you notice that they are somewhat introverted and shy through the behavioural questioning phase. The disparity here might raise some red flags since a person with these character traits doesn’t really fit the qualities of a sales representative who has to be ongoing, open, and persuasive.
One of the best methods to see how an applicant would deal with a situation is by having them complete a case related to the company. Job performance tests are efficient ways of determining the skill level of candidates and how they can appropriate them to your organization and industry. It is usually a good idea to specify in the job-post that this will be a requirement for being hired so that your assessment intentions are transparent from the get-go.
After the prospecting and screening phases, companies typically have established a list of potential candidates. The test should be sent to them a few days before the interview so that they have enough time to complete it. Still, no too much time – remember this is a mock exercise that relates to real-life situations, and time-wise it should also be represented similarly to a task in the company (1-2 days maximum).
The contents of the company case can vary depending on your approach. Generally, companies have 2 methods – either they create a hypothetical problem, or they use an issue they’ve tackled in the past. Similarly to the example given above, a sales candidate test would ask them to draft a lead prospecting email or having a pretend sales call with the recruiter to reveal how they would act in a real scenario.
Interview ranking of candidates
Using a ranking scale for candidates and their performances during the interview will ease the thought process for selecting the new employee. Typically, a simple scale rating will suffice in most situations (e.g. 1 star = bad, 2 stars = average, 3 stars = good). The point is to have an overview of which candidates tick all the boxes so that later it’s easy to classify them. Using this scale to rank each of their answers ensures a fair comparison between the candidates, rather than just relying on instinct. Furthermore, it also ensures there is no bias in the selection process.
Comparing the applicant’s orientation with the company’s environment is something organizations are starting to incorporate in their recruiting strategy more and more. A recruiter should consider how comfortable a new recruit will be in the company and how fast they can accommodate the working culture. It’s probably a good suggestion to use a ranking scale for their organizational culture fit. Naturally, you’ll want to focus on how qualified the candidate is for the position, considering skills and aptitudes. Still, you might want to include cultural fit into the requirement as well. Finding out the fit of an applicant falls into the category of behavioural questions and brings valuable insights.
Are they a team player or prefer working alone? Do they plan for the long term or prefer to act in short timespans? Ideally, you’ll want to select people who fit both the skill requirements and the culture fit, but it’s usually not the case. If the culture fit is missing, then the question whether or not they’re willing to adapt and if so how long will it take.
Make the job attractive
If you have a good feeling about a particular candidate and the meeting is going well, spend some time towards the end of the interview to make the company and job position attractive. Focus on the benefits they are about to be entitled to, both tangible and intangible. Take them on a tour of the company to showcase a glimpse of the environment they would be working in. Do the company employees have breakfast together on Fridays? That’s great to mention because it shows the company values its time together into other social activities besides working.
During the interview meeting, allow them to jump in with questions to have a more fluid conversation – this way, the candidate will also be more comfortable with you. Carefully plan and describe the next steps after the interview is over to let them know the procedure.
We at Whaii believe that by following these 5 tips the interviewing experience for both the interviewer and the interviewee will enhance. In the end, creating a good experience will increase the public perception of the company, which can lead to more organic recruiting and a better image overall.
See how Whaii Match can take objective hiring to a whole new level
There are tools out there to support your evaluation of job candidates.
Whaii Match can help you set aside your subjective gut feelings and review applications “blindly” – with no candidate demographics to impact your hiring decision. Only the skills, personality, values and culture that matches to your company’s unique preferences.
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