At TwoGreySuits, our short list candidates describe their interviews with the hiring manager, and it varies greatly. In many cases, we are told that the hiring manager isn’t structured in their approach, they didn’t spend enough time and they rely too heavily on their gut feel which can be dangerous. Interviewing and selection skills are rarely if ever taught to Managers.
….So you’ve had a crazy day, with tight deadlines, meetings and “urgent” matters coming up. Now you have to interview candidates for a Marketing Assistant position. If you don’t have a human resources department to guide you along, here are some tips for how to prepare for and conduct a job interview — from the other side of the desk.
Tips for Interviewers
Remember that candidates are deciding whether they want to work for you just as much as you are trying to decide whether to hire them. You have only about an hour to make a good impression on the candidate. Follow these steps:
- Write down a list of questions that directly relate to the job’s responsibilities. If you don’t have a job description, list the key responsibilities of the position, and then draw up a list of questions that relate to the direct job responsibilities.
- Ask behavioural questions, as in “tell me about a time when you…” Ask for specific examples of past performance and behavior. Specifically ask for names of people, place, times, as this is easily checked in a reference call. Previous behavior and successes are a good indicator of future performance and behavior.
- Review the candidate’s resume before the interview. Ask questions about the environment of the places the candidate has worked, for example, “what did you like or not like about the culture of the company?” This way you can see if they would be a fit in your own company culture.
- Outline the interview structure for the candidate. First, give a brief description of the company, and then outline the job duties. Tell the candidate you will leave time for any questions near the end of the interview. Ask the applicant questions as more information is revealed about their experiences. This sets up the parameters of the interview, keeps you both focused, and gives the candidate an idea of what to expect.
- Don’t talk too much. TwoGreySuits suggests the hiring managers should talk only about 30 percent of the time. Allow candidates time to describe their skills and qualifications during the interview. Make sure you’ve covered all your questions and you haven’t missed anything.
- Extend professional courtesies. Offer candidates a glass of water, and ask if they had difficulty finding the place. Be on time. Consider giving them a tour of the office. Give them an opportunity to speak with other team members or prospective coworkers, if appropriate.
- Watch nonverbal signals. Just as you are looking for eye contact and appropriate dress, the candidate is looking for those unspoken signals from you. Be sure your tone of voice is appropriate and professional. Clearly articulate the job’s duties and the company’s mission. Dress as you normally would, and pay attention to manners. You are a representative of your company and department, so make sure your actions reflect this.
- While being polite and professional, don’t get too chummy. Keep all your questions job-related. If you spend the interview chatting, you may make a hiring decision because you liked the candidate versus whether the person is truly qualified for the job.
- Whether it’s by email or phone, follow up to let candidates know whether they got the job. This is one more way of extending a professional courtesy and gives the interview process closure.
- Hiring is serious business. If you want to get a 100% guaranteed excellent hire, consider using the professionals, TwoGreySuits.
We cover all aspects of interviewing and selection in the HR Power Centre’s Recruitment Module.
The TGS System is a one-of-a-kind product that includes:
- The HR Power Centre for implementing professional people management practices, and helping you deal with the day-to-day people management issues that inevitably arise
- 24/7 HR Hot Line answered within 24 hours (but usually within 1 hour!)
- Topical regular Blogs suitable for reprinting (permission required if not a website user/customer)
TwoGreySuits is a leading-edge provider of on-line human resource management information, processes, tools and forms servicing the global market. We have integrated the HR practices associated with the key drivers of Employee Engagement within the well-organized information on the website.
Our website is built on the premise that if you truly see the value and want to manage people professionally, using our tools and information, you will see increased employee engagement levels over time, a win for everyone!
By: Ron Guest, Senior Partner www.twogreysuits.com