I wrote an article on selling the
candidate. From the first interaction to the final offer, I addressed
the steps that a company needs to take to get the ideal candidate to
join the team. Among those selling steps was the interviewing process,
which deserves a closer look. In Interviewing the Candidate, we will
address how you can get clear on your objective, plan the interview,
listen to the candidate, and evaluate the interview to make the optimal
hiring decisions, as well as discuss what certain interview questions
can reveal about a candidate.
More Than A Feeling
It may be hard to believe, but many hiring decisions are made based
on how the hiring party happened to "feel" about a candidate.
Given this, the U.S. Labor Department's report that 50% of newly hired
employees last less than 6 months on the job shouldn't be terribly surprising.
Certainly, gut feelings have their place and shouldn't be completely
discounted; however, they should not be the primary deciding factor
in a hiring decision.
If you know what you're doing, interviewing can be the most useful tool
in the entire hiring process. Each interview should be approached with
a genuine sense of purpose rather than as just a "getting to know
each other" conversation. Rather, effective interviewing requires
an organized and systematic approach.
Getting Clear On Your Objective
Before reviewing a resume, before speaking to a candidate, you need
to get clear on your hiring objective. Pour yourself a hot cup of coffee,
clear your head, close your door, ignore your email, grab a note pad
and pencil (yes, they still exist) and jot down the following:
exactly are we hiring for?
specifically do we need?
characteristics will have the most bearing on the candidate's ability
to handle the job effectively?
specific tasks need to be performed?
values and personality characteristics will work best in our organization?
are swamped with work, it's easy to lose focus on exactly what you need
to optimize your operation. Taking a moment to ask yourself these questions
will help you get clear on your hiring objective.