Employers can spend thousands of dollars seeking candidates from ads, college placement offices and recruiters. But finding qualified candidates is only half the challenge. Hiring managers must also possess certain interview skills so they select the right candidates for jobs. If you are organized and analytical enough to recognize talent in people, you already have some of the necessary employer interviewing skills. But there are other skills that can better ensure you select the right person for the job.
Setting Up Interviews
Whether you are the human resources or hiring manager, you must know which employees to include when interviewing candidates. Invite managers or analysts who would work with the new hire so they can provide input on each applicant. Create an agenda that enables each interviewer sufficient time with all candidates. Review specific objectives with each interviewer. For example, your objective may include determining key skills of candidates and having them provide examples of when they managed people or created a budget.
Asking the Right Questions
Employers must ask the right questions during interviews. Ask open-ended questions that allow candidates to provide detailed responses. For example, say, "What courses did you like best in college?" not, "Did you like anatomy class in college?" The latter question is closed-ended and only elicits a "yes" or "no" response. Ask behavioral questions that prompt candidates to describe how they handled situations on previous jobs: "Tell me when you faced a challenge on a job. Describe the situation, and what were the results?" Behavioral questions work on the premise that past behavior is the best indicator of future performance, according to the University of Oklahoma.
Working with Candidates
Working with candidates during interviews requires skill. Find a quiet location so interviews are not interrupted. Make the candidates comfortable so they open up and describe their job experiences. Provide complete details about the job and company, including job duties, work environment and advancement opportunities. This enables candidates to ascertain whether your company is a good fit for them. Whether you hire a candidate or not, create good will for your company by providing a positive interview experience for everyone.
Taking Notes and Screening
Taking notes can be challenging when you're listening to candidates describe their backgrounds or answer questions. But notes are necessary when you review each candidate's credentials and, later, meet with other interviewers to get their opinions. Equally important is ensuring you have all relevant documents for screening and evaluating candidates' qualifications: Application forms, resumes, references and any tests associated with jobs.
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