The 2 Most Important Things To Do Before Starting An Interview

The 2 Most Important Things To Do Before Starting An Interview

A lot of hiring managers out there think they’re pretty good at interviewing. They sit down with their candidate, have a conversation with them, and their gut tells them if it’s going to work or not. The bad news is that their gut is often wrong when it comes to hiring the right person. A casual, unstructured interview has just about the same predictive ability as flipping a coin to make a decision. And when the stakes are high, flipping a coin is never a good idea. When it comes to the right steps to hire an employee, there are two that are commonly missed. Most hiring managers go from the phone screen interview straight to the in-person interview – but these two steps in between could drastically increase your chances of success:

#1: Assess Your Candidate

Your candidate’s resume should give you a pretty good idea of their experience, education and skills. Your phone screen interview likely focused on confirming these details, as well as a couple of fit-related questions. But while a certain level of experience may be required for inviting a candidate in for an interview, it actually isn’t a strong indicator of future success. This is why many interviews are ineffective – they focus too heavily on experience. Capacity to learn and personality (or temperament) are much better predictors of future success. So instead of trusting your gut and jumping straight to the interview, assess your candidates beforehand for a measureable way to see how they stack up against the job profile. You can use this information to help guide your interview, fully explore any gaps that the assessment uncovered, and ensure you’re truly hiring the right person for the role. This is one of the most powerful steps to hire an employee – don’t miss out on a great opportunity to learn more about your candidates before you bring them in!

Pro Tip: Wondering about job profiles? Here’s how a job profile can speed up the hiring process

#2: Prepare your Questions

If unstructured interviews are almost completely ineffective, what’s the remedy? Easy: structured behavioural interviews. A structured behavioural interview process means that you’re not only going to ask true behaviour-based interview questions, but you’re also going to ask the same questions of each candidate. You can’t rank and compare your candidates if you’re asking Sandra and Jim different questions, because you’re learning different things about each of them! So prior to the interview, review each candidate’s assessment results, and decide what behavioural questions you’ll ask each person. This will help determine if they have the right skills, abilities, temperament and passion for the job. Plus, if you’re using a top-notch assessment solution, you’ll already have access to relevant behavioural questions – they’re usually included in the candidate’s assessment report.

The impact of a bad hire can be huge. Forgetting the obvious financial ramifications, what about how it affects the entire team at large? And how might it affect your customers? Flipping a coin might be easy, but it’s ineffective. If we follow the right steps to hire an employee and put some effort into preparation prior to the interview, the chances of hiring the right person rise dramatically. In the end, this upfront investment is going to pay off in ways that save you money – and time.


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