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Interviewing the Candidate: More Than a Feeling


January 11, 2000 Article Start Page 1 of 3 Next
 

Recently, 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:

 

  • What exactly are we hiring for?
  • What specifically do we need?
  • What characteristics will have the most bearing on the candidate's ability to handle the job effectively?
  • What specific tasks need to be performed?
  • What values and personality characteristics will work best in our organization?

 

When you 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.


Article Start Page 1 of 3 Next

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