You have some candidates coming in, and it is time to start the interview process. So what do you ask the candidate? If you are like most hiring managers, you wing it. However, how damaging is “winging it” to your hiring process?

Do Your Homework

First and foremost spend some time thinking about what you would like to find out about the candidate during the interview. In our last blog post we discussed reducing time to hire, and in that post, we discussed level setting with the hiring manager. During this level setting exercise, the recruiter asks the hiring manager key questions that lay the groundwork for what makes that hire a win. By structuring your interview to address these critical job requirements, the hiring manager is looking for will help you have a meaningful conversation and identify the right candidate for the position.

As a company, you are competing for talent. To attract “A” players, you need to prove that you are an “A” company? You have spent time, money and energy to get qualified candidates to apply. When you interview candidates, you expect that they have at least gone to the website and done some research about your company. From a candidates perspective, they expect the same due diligence from the person conducting the interview. Top level talent wants to be challenged in the interview process. So how do you prove you are an “A” company. At an organizational level, you need to have a regular list of questions that are used during the interview. Your Applicant Tracking System should have the ability to drive the interview questions and ensure consistency. Having preset interview questions empowers your hiring manager to ask better questions, and better evaluate the candidate. When developing those questions make sure to ask behavioral based questions. Softball questions will leave “A” players wanting. The typical questions of “Where do you see yourself in 5 years?” will get you canned answers. Ask questions that force the candidate to draw on experience to give you an answer. This provides the candidate with an opportunity to highlight their past accomplishments but also show their ability to draw on experience to answer a question. A qualified candidate will have the experience to draw on.

Leverage Tools To Help

  • Are you leveraging assessments? Assessments are developed by psychologists to help you understand how a candidate or employee is wired. Proper assessments will provide questions to ask during the interview that dig deeper into the candidate’s psyche. Assessments can be handy tools make sure whatever assessment you use that the test itself is quick and easy to take and that the results are giving you the information you need.
  • The internet affords us a wealth of information about people. So before the interview take time to get to know your candidate. In addition to reviewing their application make sure to look them up on LinkedIn. Find exciting areas of the candidate’s experience and incorporate pointed questions about that experience. By structuring questions around the candidate’s career highlights, you are showing the candidate that you did your homework and are genuinely interested in them.
  • For technical or specialty positions play close attention to the job requirements. Make sure to have a question or two to vet that the candidate meets those requirements fully.

Be Thoughtful

Ask the question and let the candidate speak. With it being a tight talent market with unemployment at very low levels let the candidate have the floor. Most people walk away from a conversation feeling it was a positive conversation when they had done most of the talking.

Be Prepared To Sell The Company

During the interview make sure that you are prepared to tell the story about your company.

  • What makes your company exciting?
  • Who are the leaders of the organization?
  • Be prepared to connect the dots for the candidate on how their position ties into the success of the company.
  • Outline the Performance metrics that define success, so the candidate has a clear picture.