The interviewing techniques you use can be the difference between hiring a star and making a terrible mistake. When you get great information, you make great decisions. Hiring new employees doesn’t have to be a mystery when you use a solid process.
In this article you will discover 10 critical steps to help you put a winning process in place. In addition, after reading this article, you should explore all the articles on the blog.
Interviewing Problems to Avoid
There are numerous things to avoid if you are going to effectively hire new employees. The most important is BEING UNPREPARED. Without a process, a profile and plan your odds of hiring good people aren’t great. Too many people just “wing it” when it comes to hiring. This never works well.
ASKING THE WRONG QUESTIONS is the next problem. Most of the data you get in the hiring process comes from the interview. You get good data when you ask good questions. The opposite is true as well. See the best interview questions article for a full discussion.
Another problem area is JUMPING TO CONCLUSIONS. Too often we make our decisions within minutes of meeting the person. The decision is made with very little data. To be effective, withhold making the decision until you have gathered as much information as possible.
No matter which interviewing techniques you use you will have problems if you don’t avoid these problems.
What does the person need to accomplish to satisfy your business need? How does the person need to behave to deliver the results the right way? These are two questions that have to be answered before you start hiring. This information helps to build a profile of the successful person.
Think of the profile as the road map. It is a template of the successful person. Armed with this information, you can work through the rest of the process confident you are moving in the right direction.
Know Your Purpose
This sounds strange but most people go into the hiring process without a clear purpose. Of course you want to hire a person but that is not specific enough.
Your real goal is to hire a person who will be successful in your job. To be successful they need to satisfy your business needs and accomplish them in the right way.
The best way to achieve this result is to focus your interviewing on predicting success. At the end of the process, if you can answer whether or not the person will be successful, then you have met your goal.
Use A Structured Process
The only way to develop your skill level at hiring is to adopt a proven process and implement it consistently. (See hiring process article for a proven selection process)
Following a proven, consistent interviewing process increases your odds of making good hiring decisions. Implementing a process in your organization is the fastest way to improve your hiring.
Screen To Save Time
Screening candidates saves time. The effort you put into reading resumes and conducting a phone interview saves a tremendous amount of wasted time. There is nothing worse than investing interview time in a candidate who has no chance of getting the job.
A good screening process helps you filter through the candidates and saves time in long run.
Ask Effective Questions
No list of interviewing techniques is complete without a discussion of questions. The single biggest barrier to hiring great employees is not asking the right questions. There is a lot of misinformation on the subject that gets in the way.
The two most important types of questions to ask are factual questions and action questions. Your questions should require a factual answer. How many people worked on that project? What software did you use to manage your finances? These are examples of factual questions.
Action questions require the person to tell you what they did. They have to describe behavior. How did you overcome the price objection at ABC? How did you troubleshoot the machine? These are examples of action questions.
Control The Interview
Controlling the interview means getting the information you need in the time allotted. It is important to get the information you need as opposed to the information the candidate wants to share with you.
The best way to control the interview is to ask effective questions. The better your questions, the better data you get. Ask specific questions that require the person to give you factual, behavioral answers and you will control the interview.
Validate Your Data
The better data you have, the better decisions you will make. Apply many techniques to add and validate your data. Multiple or group interviews help you get additional data. Second interviews refine the data collected. Finally reference and background checks further validate your data.
Base Your Decision On Facts
Too often, a discussion of interviewing techniques skips over the decision-making process. It is very easy to let impressions and biases make your hiring decision. This is a recipe for disaster. The more factual and behavioral data you have, the better your decision.
Asking effective questions and using all the validation steps provide you with a wealth of DATA. The more good data you have, the easier the hiring decision.
Keep It Legal
Hiring employees is an area that can get you in all kinds of trouble. All of your interviewing techniques need to meet legal requirements. The subject is far too complex to cover in this article but there is one basic to keep in mind.
Keep your inquiries job related. Stay out of people’s private life. Focus on work related behaviors. Explore how the person handled the same or similar situations to those they will face on your job.
This is a good guideline to help keep you on legal ground.
These 10 interviewing techniques and tips are a good place to start. It is to your benefit to be constantly expanding your interviewing techniques toolbox.