Find the Best Employees: Interviewing Tips

July 5, 2011

While most companies are seeing more layoffs than new hires, interviewing skills are becoming more valuable. With record unemployment, a “help needed” sign is guaranteed to get lots of attention. If it is your to screen applicants or to make the final decision on a new hire, it’s especially important you make the right choice.

To avoid turnover and additional loss in business your head hunt should yield the best-suited individual for the job. Don’t let the amount of applicants fool you, in times of unemployment people will apply to jobs they either may not want or aren’t qualified for just on the chance that they will be considered. The last thing you want is a new employee that is unqualified and unmotivated.

Your best opportunity to screen applicants is the face-to-face interview. Here are some tips to help you get the most out of your interviews.

  • Standardize your meetings for each open position; make sure every applicant answers all the questions. You may end up choosing between two good candidates and you never know which answer will be the tipping point.
  • Write out a thorough explanation of the open position to present before you start asking questions. You want to know if the candidate is interested in what you are offering.
  • Standardize your notes for each meeting. Observations about each candidate should focus on their ability to do the job and their motivation to excel within the position.
  • Allow for extra time in the schedule. A relaxed atmosphere is the best way to see the real personality of each candidate. Take some time to build rapport and allow them to answer any questions. Recognize they are looking into your company as much as you are looking into them.
  • Open-ended questions such as, “What is the most important part of your education background?” will give you better answers that tell you more about the candidate.

Decide on the qualities of an ideal candidate before the interview process. Don’t go into the process and pick whichever person seems the best, or has the most education, or the best work history. Put thought into the qualities your company needs in this position and evaluate each candidate based on those qualities and nothing else.

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