Best Practices for Interviewing Potential Candidates

You know the value of an effective candidate interview: hiring the right person and helping applicants make an accurate determination about your company as the right choice. As you prepare yourself and others for this key step in your hiring process, be familiar with the best practices to follow.

Tips for How to Interview Candidates

Prepare ahead of time.

It’s not rocket science, but for an interview to succeed requires some planning. Schedule a meeting with everyone who has a stake in hiring the right person and, thus, will be part of the process. In addition to the new hire’s direct supervisor, this may include coworkers, other managers, senior leaders, and internal customers. On the agenda:

  • Ranking, according to job specs, the most important skills, qualities, experience, and characteristics that a successful candidate would possess.
  • Developing a list of interview questions that will be used uniformly across all candidates.
  • Reviewing candidate resumes.

After all, interviews have been completed; you’ll want to schedule a debriefing meeting with the same group to compare notes and make the most informed decision possible.

Ask the right questions.

Interviewees need to have a standardized list of questions but not a list of ideal answers in mind. A better approach is to be ready to ask open-ended questions and keep your mind open – dig as deep as necessary until you get the response you need to identify the right person. In other words, stick to the script as far as your agreed-upon questions go, but guide the conversation to flesh each one out as needed.

Your interview team will develop specific questions, but here are some common ones to be used or perhaps tweaked for your needs:

  • Why do you want to work for us?
  • What are you looking to gain from your next job?
  • Please describe your work style.
  • Why did you leave your last position?

Be aware of legal issues.

Various federal and state laws apply regarding employment and fair hiring. Violating any of them could result in dire consequences, including fines and serious damage to your image and employment brand. Be sure interviewees are well-versed in all of them. This is another reason why it’s critically important not to vary from your pre-approved list of questions: by making certain irrelevant inquiries, you can veer into dangerous legal territory.

You need to maintain compliance with these laws, among others:

Ready to Start Interviewing Candidates?

As you build your team in finance, engineering, IT, HR, administration, customer services, or call centers, turn to Venteon to help you source, hire and retain the talent you need. This includes ensuring that every interview you conduct is effective, efficient, and legally compliant. We speak your language, understand your challenges, and consistently deliver great results. Contact us today for more information.

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