Interviewing can be fun and exciting—the thrill of adding new capabilities to your team, thoughts of growth and expansion. Yet, we seldom recognize the cost of moving too quickly. Hiring for the wrong reasons. Rushing the process.
The cost of taking time to find the right person—and pay them what they are worth—seldom exceeds the cost of retraining, decreased morale and the other costs that go along with hiring a ‘bad fit.’ We can all think of examples of an employee who didn’t really match the culture and dragged down the productivity of those around them once they were made a part of your team. With all that at stake, it’s important to engage in the interview process seriously.
Here are a few tips to make your interviews go as smoothly as possible:
- DO interview in groups whenever possible. It’s so easy for one person to miss a visual cue, a tone of voice, a hesitation. By interviewing with at least one other person, you increase your chances of not missing a beat. Bonus points are awarded for a diverse team of interviewers.
- DON’T have papers in your hand. Trust and respect between employers and employees begins well before the first day on the job. If you are expecting them to have researched and know you and your business (which you must), do them the favor of studying their resume and materials in advance as well. It shows how seriously you take this and will help foster more relaxed conversation.
- DO keep it as casual as possible. Interviews are already a terribly awkward and formal affair. It’s not very representative of the everyday working environment, so it’s up to you to do anything possible to recreate that “everyday” feeling. Grab them some coffee, crack a bad joke if you like, and get to a place where you are all communicating from a place of realness.
- DON’T ask if you can check references. Just do so. The references people have listed on an application are rarely going to provide the most unbiased perspectives of a candidate anyway. If you’re serious about finding the right person, take the time to call and email until you’ve spoken to enough former managers and coworkers. It’s likely to be more telling than any interview question.
- DO test their real-world skills. If performing certain types of tasks is integral to the job—have them do it! Using your systems. Yes, it’s true that skills can be learned but watching someone learn your systems, even in a basic way, can be so telling about how their mind works. 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 there was an answer you received that 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. There is too much at stake in making bad hires, so take your time until you feel entirely confident. You’ll never be sorry you did.
Have a great DO or DON’T? Comment below to share with our readers. And if you’d like some more guidance on getting through interviews, grab the PDF below. It’s full of sample questions and a checklist that will make you feel like a seasoned interviewer!