Have you ever brought on a new employee only to later find that they’re a bad fit? They didn’t match the company culture, or they dragged down the productivity of everyone around them. When this happens, it’s usually a result of moving too quickly or hiring for the wrong reasons—and whatever time and resources you might have saved during your candidate search will be nothing compared to the cost of restarting your search, training another new hire and repairing your team’s damaged morale. So how do you make sure you’re getting the right person? Follow these six tips for a smooth and effective interview process.
DO team interviews when possible
When you interview one on one, it’s easy to miss a visual cue, a tone of voice, a hesitation. Having at least one other person sit in with you increases your chances of not missing a beat. It also gives you the opportunity to discuss the interview with someone who was actually there so you can share observations and compare notes. And if you can, include a diverse group of interviewers. They’ll offer more perspective, and the conversation is likely to be more well-rounded.
DON'T interview with papers in your hand
Trust and respect between employers and employees begins well before the first day on the job. A good candidate will come to the interview having done some research about you and your company, so offer them the same level of preparation—study their resume and materials in advance. You’ll demonstrate that you’re taking the interview seriously, and the conversation will feel more relaxed and natural.
DO keep it as casual as possible
Your candidate is probably nervous—and you may be too. Interviews don’t tend to be representative of the everyday working environment, but do what you can to recreate that “everyday” feeling. Treat it like a conversation, not an interrogation. Don’t read off a script—let the conversation flow naturally. You’re more likely to see the candidate’s authentic self if you’re also being authentic.
DO request references and get permission to check them
Checking references could save you a lot of potential hurt down the road—financially and in terms of time and other human impact to your team. If you’re serious about finding the right person, request references and take the time to call and email them until you’ve spoken to enough former managers and coworkers to feel secure with your candidate choice. The references people offer are rarely going to provide the most unbiased perspectives, but what they do say may end up being more telling than any interview question.
DO test real-world skills
If performing certain types of tasks is integral to the job—have them do it! Offer clear instructions walking them through completion of a task using your systems. You’ll get some insights into how their mind works—and you’d be surprised how many ace interviewees can’t follow a simple set of step-by-step instructions.
DON'T leave yourself open to uncertainty
If your candidate answers a question with a response you don’t fully understand, ask the question again. If you think it’s going to take one more round of interviews, or one additional group needs to sign off on this hire—make that happen. You don’t want to regret your hire once it’s too late, so take your time until you feel entirely confident. You’ll never be sorry you did.
Take our free hiring quiz to get a deeper look at the efficacy of your hiring process. And if you’re looking for more guidance to make sure you have the tools and knowledge you need to hire the best, reach out to us for help.