To ensure that hiring managers are carrying out effective interviews, they should use a tailored interview guide.
Taking the time to carefully consider what specific skills, capabilities, experience and approaches are needed from the new employee – as well as forming questions targeting those key criteria – will ensure that decision makers have the best opportunity to identify a genuinely great new employee who can successfully carry out the requirements of the role and fit in with the work culture & team.
10 important factors for a Quality Interview Guide:
- ALWAYS start by providing an Introduction & Overview of the Business & Role – This will allow the candidate to relax a little and to gain a better understanding of the work environment. Be honest and positive, but don’t waffle for too long – this should be about 5-10 minutes & must provide a general background.
- Be sure to review their resume and clarify important information such as:
- Required Qualification, Certifications & Licences
- Dates of employment – How long they were there (people often only include the year in their resume and not the “start” and “end” months)
- Why they left their recent roles
- Your initial two question for the candidate should be general and allow them to talk about themselves – Again, this will allow them to shake off the nervousness. You are likely to get more information that is genuine and accurate if the candidate is feeling comfortable.
- NEVER ask CLOSED QUESTIONS – Yes or No answers serve limited purpose.
- Ask 8 to 10 Questions – No more than that as interviews are draining for both the Interviewer and the Candidates.
- Questions should VARY between BEHAVIOURAL, SCENARIO BASED and TARGETED GENERAL Questions – This will allow you to gather details from the candidate about their related experience and capabilities:
- Behavioural Interview Questions utilise the STAR (Situation, Task, Action & Result) technique and premise the concept that “someone’s recent behaviour or actions are a likely indicator of their future action”. It takes practice for the interviewer to encourage candidates to focus on SPECIFIC EXAMPLES to answer the questions and to draw down further to focus on important areas. You need the candidate to be able to elaborate on what THEY ACTUALLY DID…. the process they followed…. and how they handled the situation. You will then be able to decide if they have the actual experience and approach to enable them to carry out the functions of your role.
- Scenario Based Questions require you to detail a likely situation they would have within the role – and ask them to detail what they would do in that situation. The disadvantage of this style of questioning, is that what candidates think they will do in situation compared to what they actually do, can be very different.
- Targeted General Questions allow you to find out details about specific general areas such as their experience with particular software, motivations and approaches.
- Provide the Candidate with an Opportunity to ask Questions.
- Discuss the Salary and Work Hours for the role – Don’t be afraid to ask the candidate about their current or most recent salary and to confirm that you are both on the same page. There is no point selecting a candidate and offering the role based on a salary that does not meet their needs or expectations.
- Confirm Referees and their Contact Details – Best practice is to speak with two referees – in our experience there is ALWAYS a referee who cannot be reached, so asking for three managers/supervisors from the candidates’ most recent positions will save time).
- Outline the Process from here – Let them know when you will be finalising your decision (this should be within 1-3 days maximum).
Remember, this is a GUIDE to steer and lead you through the interview and NOT a “must follow”. A candidate may cover details that answer more than one question in a response or you may have a candidate that is clearly lacking the abilities for your role, and may choose not to ask all the questions. It takes practice for you as a Manager to carry out interviews that bridge the gap between conducting an Interrogation and having a Chat, which is where the Interview Guide can assist.
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For an obligation free discussion feel free to give Kim Acworth a call on 0411 278 281 or email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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