Finding the right person for the job can be a challenge. Using the interview process effectively can help identify which applicants meet the needs of the business. Management needs to plan ahead and have a clear vision of what skills an applicant must have to succeed.
First, the interviewer will need to develop a clear list of criteria that will be used to evaluate each applicant. Using the criteria to determine what questions should be asked will help provide the information needed to make an appropriate decision. Lastly, learning to identify and avoid any biased views is important when making a final selection.
Determine the Hiring Criteria
Each job is going to have different elements and challenges that need to be evaluated. The person doing the interview needs to have a full understanding of the needs of the position. Ask the following questions to help identify different skills and knowledge needed to perform.
- What are the daily routines of the job?
- What types of decision-making will be required?
- What kinds of personal interaction will occur?
- What level of supervision will the position have?
- Are stress and pressure an element of the job?
- Are there any particular skills required such as computer knowledge?
- What kind of hours are the employees expected to work?
- Are there any physical demands?
- Will traveling be an option?
- What are the salary expectations and parameters?
- Does the position require previous work experience?
- What level of education is needed?
Once the list of criteria is determined the interviewer now has the tool they will use to measure each applicant. It is unlikely that one will find an applicant that meets every expectation on the list, but it will become clear which people have the most to offer.
Prepare Interview Questions
Preparing the interview questions in advance ensures that each applicant is asked the same questions. The interviewer may deviate from the structured questions should there be a topic that needs more discussion. Basically, the questions need to be directly related to the criteria list.
Using the list come up with questions that would help determine if the applicant can handle the job demands and expectations. As often as possible try to use questions that are open-ended. Such as “please explain how an employee conflict was resolved using decision-making” or “tell me more about that experience?” The idea is to get the potential employee talking as much as possible.
Avoid Stereotyping During the Job Interview
The unfortunate reality is that everyone comes to the table with preconceived ideas. To avoid letting biased views affect the selection process keep the following in mind.
- The criteria list is the only measurement to determine who is qualified for the job and who is not.
- Make notes during the interview, and immediately after when the interview is still fresh on the mind. Do not, however, make a decision until all the applicants have been interviewed.
- Keep an open mind. The most qualified individual may not always make a good first impression. Interviews are intimidating and do not always bring out the best in people.
- Do not make promises. Telling someone they have the job before completing all the interviews is not only inappropriate, it closes the door on a future applicant who may be better qualified.
- Have a variety of people conduct the interviews. Coming to a consensus on who is the most qualified applicant can reduce any risk of bias.
Interviewing a group of applicants is necessary to find the best possible person to fill a position. Make the most of the time invested in the interview process. Have a clear set of criteria listed out beforehand and base the interview questions on the specific skills and knowledge required. Be conscious of biased views and take steps to ensure the most qualified applicant is selected.