How to Make the Most of an Interview

If you’ve ever conducted a search for a new employee when you’re desperate to fill an opening, you know how difficult it is to make a strong hire when the process is rushed. While some companies wait for candidates to apply for their open positions, others plan ahead and seek out employees before they’re needed. A big part of managing an effective hiring process is having a thorough, effective interviewing methodology – and having enough time to work through the process is essential.

Plan ahead, use the interviewing tips below, and you’ll be on your way to building a stellar team.

So what does hiring the best involve?

1. Brainstorm responsibilities – What will this person do? Jot down all the responsibilities you can think of in two lists – “nice to haves” and “must haves”. While it’s a brainstorming session, the more specific your descriptions are, the easier it will be when it comes to time to define the role’s requirements in terms of experience, education, and prior responsibilities. For example, your team may be seeking a marketing manager, but after the brainstorming exercise it may become apparent that most of the desired responsibilities are more sales related and therefore require more sales experience.

2. How will this person be evaluated / compensated? – Creating the right incentive structure for the job is essential. Not doing so risks unintentionally encouraging the wrong activities. Consider all possibilities, including base salary, commissions if applicable, bonuses, and profit sharing – and tie the variable incentives back to specific performance activities and results wherever possible. When putting together the final compensation structure, consider moving expenses, 401k, and expense reimbursements. Depending on the type of position and the competition in the marketplace, top candidates will be offered similar packages from other companies.

3. Don’t forget people skills – Since most of us can fake behaving normally for at least an hour or two, cringe-worthy behavior isn’t always apparent during the interview. So how can you get past the cover? Personality profiles and behavioral assessments are your answer. Put these assessments to good use because you may hire for skills, but it’s typically a lack of culture fit that dooms a new hire.

4. Manage your biases – Most interviewers develop an opinion of a candidate within a couple of minutes of meeting them and then spend the remainder of the interview gathering data to justify their initial impression. The best way to combat our own biases (positive or negative) is to prepare a list of standard questions to ask every candidate. Having a consistent roster of questions and rating process (and sticking to them) throughout all interviews will help you stay on task and ensure you’re comparing candidates accurately.

5. Sell the opportunity  – If you’re planning on hiring top talent, you’ll be competing with other companies who are also eager to bring them on. Interview with the mindset of not only determining if the candidate is the best fit for the job, but also demonstrating why your company is where they want to spend the majority of their waking hours.  Before you start interviewing, build a list of all the reasons why a prospective employee would want to work for your company. Supplement the list by asking current employees what they like most about their jobs.

So plan ahead, interview with a purpose, and use assessments and standardized questions to your advantage.

Ever used these tips to weed out a not-so-perfectly-fitted candidate and hire a great one instead? We’d love to hear your stories and tips.

And if you’d like some help with the process, let Murray Resources know. As one of the leading staffing agencies in Houston, we provide our clients with unparalleled market knowledge and access to the highest caliber candidates. So when you need to hire, turn to the recruitment firm you can trust…turn to Murray Resources. Contact us today to learn more.