“Time spent on hiring is time well spent.” — Robert Half
When it comes to job interviews, whoever conducts the interview has just as much riding on their shoulders as the candidate they are interviewing. Businesses rely on a leader’s ability to choose candidates that fit seamlessly into their business, that bring the energy and expertise necessary for their business to succeed.
Hiring someone who isn’t a good fit can be a costly mistake — and is one that can be easily avoided.
One of the biggest mistakes business leaders can make is hastily hiring employees. The difference between hiring just another employee and the right employee is what separates the employee who works for your business and the employee who makes your business work. Finding the latter starts with the interview process.
Here are a few tips to help you get the most out of your interview and the best person for the job:
Research the candidate. Just as you expect your candidate to come to the interview prepared, having researched your business and the job position and spent time preparing for the interview, you too should do your due diligence. Use the candidate’s résumé as a springboard to learn more about their past employment history and their job performance. Use this information to tailor your interview questions in order to best gauge how well the candidate would fit at your business.
Avoid snap judgments. First impressions are one of the ways we evaluate a candidate. Don’t use that solely to screen out a candidate. They may be nervous and not putting their best foot forward initially, but have a lot to offer to a prospective employer. Focusing on building rapport to set them at ease can not only help them perform better in the interview, but can also create a positive impression in the candidate’s mind about you and the organization. On the other hand, we may overlook red flags we pick up the interview if we are “wowed” by their first impression. Reserve your judgment and continue to learn more about them before deciding whether to take the next step in the process.
Use behavioral interviewing techniques by asking for anecdotes. Never take résumé bullet points at face value. Phrases like “team player” and “born leader” are clichés nowadays — what you really want is anecdotal evidence how someone is a team player or a natural leader. To borrow a creative writing concept, you want candidates to show, not tell. By relating a time they took charge of a situation or directly influenced a business’ success, candidates show you how they behave, as opposed to just telling you.
Have you experienced any hiring nightmares or hiring successes? We’d love to hear about them, so feel free to share them in the comments section.
This post is brought to you by the good folks at Dale Carnegie Training of Central & Southern New Jersey. We would love to connect with you on Facebook and Twitter @CarnegieJersey.