10 Tips on Preparing a Successful Interview
(Part One of a Two-Part Series)
So your business has grown to the point where you are thinking about hiring support staff. That’s great news! This is an exciting time for your business, and you want to ensure that you surround yourself with talented employees. Conducting solid job interviews is an important part of that process. While you may be nervous about conducting interviews, you must remember that your goal is to hire a diverse group that will build your business’s success. Here are ten things to remember as you prepare for interviews.
1. Help applicants come prepared
If there is anything else you would like to review aside from a resume, for example writing samples or a project portfolio, be sure you ask the candidate to bring them in advance. You want to give yourself and the candidate the best opportunity to successfully fill your position.
2. Schedule enough time for each interview
Often interviewers underestimate the time required to complete a successful job interview. Be sure to schedule amble time so that you don’t cut interviews short or require other candidates to wait for their turn.
3. Know what you’re looking for before you conduct interviews
Be sure you take the time to write down what you’re looking for in a candidate before you sit down in the interview. You want to have a good idea of what you’re looking for so you can craft questions that help you determine the best applicant for your position.
4. Ask each candidate the same questions
The only way you can truly compare candidates is to ask each the same set of interview questions. Otherwise, the information you have is unbalanced and doesn’t give you a fair view of all the applicants. Come back next week when we discuss which questions you should ask when conducting a job interview.
5. Study the applicant’s resume and/or application before the interview
When you study the resume or application on the fly, you’ll miss important information, especially if you’re distracted by the actual interview. Take the time to look through each resume or application before you sit down with the candidate. That way you know in advance which items you want the interviewee to expand on.
6. Don’t let the interview get off-track
Regardless of how good your connection might be with a particular candidate or how much you have in common (including acquaintances) you shouldn’t allow the interview to rear off-track. Always redirect the conversation back to the interview so that each applicant has a fair shot at the job. And be sure you don’t hire according to who you like best. You’re not looking for a new best friend; you’re looking for the person who can contribute the most to your business.
7. Pay attention and take notes
After you conduct a few interviews you may find that you’re mind has begun to wonder and you’re having a difficult time maintaining focus. Snap out of it! You have to pay attention so you don’t miss important details. And take notes so you don’t forget key information when it comes time to make your choice.
8. Check their references!
Why ask for references if you don’t check them? I’ve heard countless stories of references who shared crucial information about a candidate’s true nature in a job environment that either foiled his/her chances or sealed the deal. Either way references can provide you with more information on which to base your final decision.
9. Be direct
Be upfront with the candidates so they know what they’re getting into. Explain what the job entails, the salary range, and the tasks they’ll be asked to perform regularly. When you misrepresent the position upfront the employee will most likely be resentful later.
10. Give them a timeline
Explain where you are in the interview process and when they can expect to hear back from you. Also let them know whether or not they might expect a second interview.Take the time to adequately prepare for your job interviews. Don’t rush simply because you’re anxious about expanding your business. You don’t want to be in need of an article on how to fire your employee later. When you choose employees wisely upfront you have a better chance of building a more dynamic and successful business. Come back next week to read about the questions you should use when conducting a job interview.