Hire the Right People

Last updated on May 13th, 2019 at 02:36 pm

The interview process can be simple or complicated. It depends on how you want it structured.

The key to an effective interview is preparation. I usually take a three-step approach with my clients, which has proven most effective in gathering the necessary data for making the hiring decision.

The silent interview

This first step is called the silent interview, because the applicant is only represented by his or her resume.

The preparation process begins with a careful review of the resume and cover letter. I always look for gaps in employment and any inconsistency in the detailed employment history.

Many times I challenge the listed educational experience and find that the applicant misstated the name of the institution. In one case, an applicant stated that he attended the University of Wisconsin. I asked how he enjoyed the Madison experience, and he responded that he went to U.W.-Parkside, a completely different institution.

When you encounter such an exaggeration, you begin to question the veracity of the balance of the information.

Another area that needs to be challenged is the work experience and how it relates to the title of the position. When you delve into the job duties, you sometimes discover that the position was not at the supervisory level as stated in the resume.

The rule to be followed is not to accept anything at face value in the resume.

The second interview

After you sift through the resumes and reduce the number of potential second interviews, it is time to develop your list of questions for that second interview.

That interview can be conducted either in person or on the telephone. I call it the second interview, because the review of the resumes is considered the first interview.

Your questions should be constructed around resume concerns and the applicant’s thought processes. Scenario questions, ones that provide a business-related situation and require the applicant to propose a solution, are the best way to gain insight into the thought process. You can also determine if the answers are in line with current company culture and policies. You are not looking for a clone, but you also don’t want a renegade in your firm.

If this interview is conducted on the telephone, then it is a one-on-one interview and usually takes 45 to 60 minutes to complete. This type of interview should be scheduled in advance so both parties are comfortable and not rushed. It needs to be conducted in a confidential manner, without interruption.

When you conduct this interview in person, there will be one or more people involved in the process. If this is the situation, then one person should lay out the ground rules and introduce the participants. You should allot at least 60 to 90 minutes for this interview, since more people will be involved.

With some of our clients, they request a telephone interview to further reduce the field of candidates and then arrange an in-person interview with the semi-finalists. This strategy usually is used when we are dealing with a high-level managerial position. When the interview is completed, each person involved should complete an evaluation sheet that incorporates mutually exclusive ratings and has room for critical comments. When all of the interviews are completed, the interviewing team can review the evaluations and determine the finalists.

The third interview

In many cases it is very important to conduct a third interview so that the subordinates and peers can have an opportunity to review the candidates.

Many times, two candidates are equal in experience and have both impressed the interviewing team. It is now up to the peers and reports to determine who they want to work with and for. This is your opportunity to gain buy-in to the process from your employees.

Once all of the interviews are completed, top management or the owners need to review their notes and the comments from the other interviewers to determine who will get the position. It is possible that there still might be a tie between two candidates. Then it is up to the "boss" to make the final decision.

It is assumed that the necessary background and reference checks have been completed. This detailed process can help your company select the most appropriate candidates. We have experienced a very high rate of success with this approach.

No posts to display