The last leg of the hiring journey, starting with Shortlisting your candidates.
If you use a recruiter, they will likely get you to this point and help with the interview, if you’re managing this process yourself you will need to manage this yourself.
Sifting through the applications may seem daunting but you can start whittling them done by:
- Checking if they followed your instructions.
If you asked for a cover letter, did they provide one?
- Do they have your must haves?
Based on your list of Must Haves does the candidates CV demonstrate they have what you need.
- Gut Feel
Whilst the hiring and selection process needs to be done using facts, ‘gut feel’ is a good way to assess if the candidate will fit into your culture and with you. Is there something that stood out or a quality that shines through that you liked? On the same notion a bad feeling shouldn’t be ignore but warrant further investigation like calling references or double checking on something.
Based on what you asked for in the job ad or the number of applications you received you can start to further whittle down the applications based on you good to haves and company culture.
Conducting a Successful Interview
There are two core purposes of an interview
First, assessing the candidate to see if they have the competencies you need and secondly, that they’ll be a good cultural fit. Everyone gets nervous when interviewing for a job, so helping them feel relaxed will help you assess them accurately as to their skills and personality. In working out their personality see if they are passive or dominant and what drives them.
As part of the interview you could test their skills or knowledge, for example by taking them on a walk round your site and work area and get them to suggest some ideas, improvements or what they might do in an example of work happening. Or you might ask them to do a written or online test before the interview and discuss the results during the interview.
Some sample Questions:
• Why are you interested in this job?
• What is the greatest strength you can bring to this job?
• What type of thing do you find most frustrating/interesting?
• What is the biggest thing you have learnt at work?
• What has been your greatest achievement at work?
Accurately portraying your business will help them determine if the company is a good fit for them and meet their own goals.
Just like in your ad, sell the business! Not literally, but if you're interviewing for a role that has a lot of competition, and you’ve got what looks to be the right candidate, then it could be likely that they too are pursuing multiple opportunities. Brag a bit, tell them what’s great about what you have to offer and any perks you might have too. If you have other staff members, introduce them.
Don't forget to ask them if they have any questions about the company or the role. This gives them an opportunity to learn more and clear up any misunderstandings.
When conducting the interview, you may find it beneficial to have another person with you and to take notes for you to refer back to. When the interview is over you may want to go over your points and notes together.
To save time while ensuring you interview the best candidates you could conduct a brief interview over the phone, then shortlist the best candidates from there. You may need to conduct more than one interview to get a good idea if they will fit your role.
Lastly, conduct your reference checks. These can be invaluable in your final evaluation of the candidate and to confirm any questions you may have about them in the workplace.
This article is part of a series on Deciding to Hire.
Next up: Choosing a Candidate to Hire
*Please note this was written as a guide only and is not advice or a replacement for qualified advice/expertise in hiring and it's legal requirements.