Monday, December 17, 2012

next step - interviewing and hiring

Now that we have talked about what policies you should have in place - and a plan for enforcing those policies...we can start to talk about getting employees in the door.

I am not going to spend a lot of time talking about interviewing...it is not my strong suit. I think my biggest problem is that I love to talk.  That is detrimental to a good interview because in an interview you need to get the candidate to talk about them self - if an person doesn't open up and starting talking and giving good answers - I tend to try to get the conversation going by talking about my experiences. The next thing I know - I am talking too much and not getting the information out of the candidate.  So now that I have told you what not to do...here are a few things that you should do...I just need to learn to take my own advice.


  • Have a checklist - to start out you might want to have an actual written list - but as time goes by, you will be able to observe the things on the list off the top of your head. The checklist should include the following...some of them will depend on the industry/organization that you are hiring for:
    1. Is the candidate on time for interview?
    2. How are they dressed?  No matter what the job- they should be dressed in at least business casual attire.  This is going to vary depending on your organization. If you are hiring for an office job where suits and ties are required - than you will be looking for a candidate to be dressed like that.  Some other businesses might be okay with people being dressed in a nice dress shirt and slacks or a skirt.  The attire a person is wearing may be very telling of their personality - and attitude toward work.  They should be comfortable - but should also look like the put some time and thought into how they are presenting them self for the interview.  However - don't let their good grooming or nice suit lull you into thinking they are a great candidate before you have even asked the first questions.
    3. What is their body language during the interview?
    4. How comfortable are they talking to you - a stranger that they are probably meeting for the first time? This is especially important if you are hiring for a customer service job of any kind.  A cashier or receptionist is going to have to deal with people in person and on the phone - so good hospitality and social skills are a must.
    5. Did they bring their phone with them?  If they check a call - or text - or answer a call during the interview - find a way to end it quickly.  People who don't have any more respect for your time than that are not people you want working for you.  Some people may have their phone with them if they are going to be filling out an application - they may have information on the phone that they need -but when you are conducting the interview you should not see the phone - and for that matter - they should not see your's either!!
  • All the things you expect from them - you should also emulate.  Be on time - be respectful - present yourself in a professional and confident manner.
  • Have a list of basic questions that you know you have to ask - and some follow up questions to ask depending on their answers.  Make sure all of your questions are appropriate.  Here are some links to help you determine the kind of questions you should NOT ask...6 mistakes to avoid ; tips to help you formulate questions
  • You should never ask questions like (to a woman) "are you planning to have children?".  Don't ask questions about their health. If they bring up a medical condition - beware.  They may not mean anything by it - but if they tell you they have a condition and you don't hire them - they could come back and claim that is why you didn't hire them.  I went to an HR seminar once where they did a role play with a girl who had red hair who got into a conversation about her ethnic background - this kind of discussion must be avoided.
  • Let them talk - and really pay attention to them - if they go off on a rabbit trail too far - bring them back - but this is your chance to get to know them and try to get a read on whether or not you want them working for you. 
  • Pay attention to your instincts...if you observe or hear something that is a red flag - either ask them to explain it - or if it is a deal breaker - find a way to cut the interview short.
  • When the interview is over - thank them for their time and give them a timeline for when you will get back to them with a decision.If you are sure they are not a fit for the position - don't keep them hanging.  If you want to hire them - don't leave them hanging....your company is probably not the only one they have applied with and if you don't hire them - someone else will.  24 to 48 hours is a good turn around time. The recruiters I have worked with have a standard letter that they send out to candidates they are not hiring. 
Okay...I guess I had a lot more to say about interviewing than I thought I did...it's getting late...have a good night!

Training is not a one time event...it is an ongoing journey...Learn it...Live it...Pass it on!

1 comment:

  1. most of this seems pretty basic but maybe that is what we need to do - get back to basics. I totally love the statement about the cell phones not just for interviews but for every day life. I have a friend who went on a date and the guy kept checking his phone and txting. needless to say it was the first and only date!

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