“You know what I love? Job interviews.”
You rarely hear people saying these two sentences together.
If you’re the job seeker, the interview process can be incredibly uncomfortable and high pressure. If you’re the interviewer, they can be just as stressful since you will be judged by your fellow employees based on the success or failure of the candidate you choose.
While stakes of the hiring process are high on both ends, there are a number of techniques businesses can employ to ensure that they’re making the best hiring decisions possible:
Keep the Interview Process Uniform
Humans, fortunately, aren’t robots or computers.
Even the best hiring managers have their own personal, unconscious biases when it comes to whether or not they think highly of a candidate.
Liking the same sports team may make a candidate feel like a better drinking buddy, but this has nothing to do with whether they’ll do their job effectively.
To eliminate these possible biases, it’s important to keep each interview as uniform as possible.
This means having a clear list of questions set up ahead of time and committing to time-management during the interview to make sure that everyone gets a fair shake at answering all of them. Uniformity should also come in the form of how or where you choose to interview.
If all of your candidates are local, you should try to get face-time with all of them in person rather than interviewing some over Skype or the phone.
Keeping these variables to a minimum can help you focus on candidate’s merits alone.
Ask the Right Questions
When an interviewee starts name-dropping big clients or high-profile projects they’ve worked on in the past, it’s easy to get swept up in that hype.
But it’s vital for interviewers to continue probing and asking important, specific questions like, “Did you meet that client’s KPIs? What were those numbers? How did you do it?”
As the article, “How to Be the Top Candidate at Every Interview” points out, candidates should be comfortable with giving out these specific examples at past jobs if they are truly qualified.
It’s also important to freshen up your standardized interview questions after a certain period of time.
While sites like Glassdoor are great for posting jobs, they’re also an opportunity for possible interviewees to get the inside scoop on exactly what questions you’ll ask.
If you want to get a true sense of a candidate’s impromptu answers, make sure to change questions regularly.
Don’t Be Afraid to Give a Test
This shouldn’t be an arbitrary pop quiz or some equivalent to an SAT or IQ test.
If you know the daily tasks of this job role, have prospective employees complete a test that is an example of that work. If you’re hiring a copywriter, have them complete a test assignment.
This will give you a real idea about whether or not they’re capable of completing the job’s daily tasks and you can gauge their level of talent.
Walk Away Feeling Good
Job interviews are a lot like dating.
This isn’t just about you finding the best match. It’s also about that person thinking that you’re the right match for them.
If a candidate is highly qualified, educated, and wildly talented, they’re likely in high demand. They can have competing offers and you want them to choose your company.
By making the interview process as positive as possible, you’ll not only get the best out of your interviewees, but you’re effectively creating good PR.
In committing to making interviews a great experience, Google found that even when candidates didn’t get the job; they’d recommend a friend apply to the company.
When interviewers put their biases aside, ask the right questions, and deploy smart testing, they find the best candidates for their open positions.
Following these suggestions plus making the interview process a positive experience for the candidates can help your business grow with the right team.
About the Author: Kristin Livingstone writes on a variety of topics including small business and hiring.
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