The job interview is arguably the most important part of your recruitment process. Fall victim to the common mess-ups of interviewer bias and lack of interview technique training, and your business could spend months enduring the pitfalls of hiring the wrong person, wasted budget and painfully stretched resources included.
This action-orientated guide aims to inform you of some genuinely useful improvements you can make to your interview process, in less than a two-minute read.
Let’s get started:
1. Implement a consistent structure
Start by defining the key requirements for the job and create a standard set of questions based upon them. Use these exact questions for each applicant, even if several interviewers will be conducting the interviews.
It’s wise to determine acceptable answers to each question before you start interviewing so you can perform a stronger and more objective evaluation of each candidate.
Once you have a consistent structure in place, bias issues are eliminated, and you’ll also be able to prevent interviewees from directing their own interviews by travelling off topic.
2. Establish some ground rules on non-verbal cues
Interviewers are only human, thus a candidate’s body language, posture, mannerisms, and appearance, may naturally affect their decisions. However, the business landscape is ever-changing and job interviews are becoming increasingly relaxed, so it’s important for hiring companies to decide which non-verbal cues they deem to be acceptable or unacceptable.
For instance, you may choose not to discredit an individual for failing to wear a suit to their job interview, but you may think twice about offering them the role if they struggle to maintain eye contact throughout, as this attribute wouldn’t sit well in the client-facing position you’re hiring for.
3. Remember that the interview has a dual purpose
A job interview has two functions: firstly, it must discern if the candidate is qualified for the job, and secondly, it must provide information on that job, your organisation and the company culture.
Therefore, it is essential to set aside enough time to deliver on your side too. Many good candidates may be in the process of interviewing at several different companies, and if you fail to make them feel adequately prepared and wanted, you may lose them to a competitor.
4. Ensure all of your interviewers are equally effective
Some interviewers are great ambassadors for your company who’ll apply great detail to their interviews and may be able to draw out real insights into candidates’ capabilities. Others may not be so efficient.
This is where experienced management and added training courses prove essential.
5. Take candidates’ promises with a pinch of salt
Candidates predict what you will ask them before the interview using the job specification, your company’s public communications, and insights from their peers or online resources, such as Glassdoor. They’ll then say what they think you want to hear on the day of the interview.
If you are hiring through a recruitment agency, you’ll get a more honest representation of the candidate. After all, the agent only gets paid if you hire the person they put forward for the role, so they will extensively research and assess their candidate before introducing you.
Another way to garner a true representation of an applicant’s capabilities is to test them on job-specific skills using automated technologies, or ask to see their portfolio if you’re working in the creative industry environment.
6. Don’t let a valuable candidate slip through the net
A lot of offices are set up in a way that the meeting rooms are near the reception, or down a corridor away from where the hive of your business activities are taking place. This means that an interviewee can easily have their interview on-site without ever really seeing your office.
Candidates need to see the environment they’ll be working in so they can envision themselves there for the foreseeable future. If it means taking them the long-route round to the meeting room, do it! It could be the deal-clincher you need to secure that model employee.
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