DIY Recruitment – Preparing for a Great Interview Process
The best recruitment outcomes happen when both parties feel confident their needs will be met. The interview process is the best way to feel really confident you’ve got the right person in your sights. But before you start asking any questions, there’s a few steps that will help you get off to a great start!
In a tight, highly competitive candidate market, attracting the person you want is not just about them and their skills and experience – it’s also about how they feel about you! Their experience through the recruitment process will play a big role in their decision making, particularly if they’re weighing up a couple of jobs.
In a couple of other DIY Recruitment blogs, we’ve talked about how to write a great job ad to get the talent you want and how to quickly shortlist applicants so you don’t miss out on the candidates you want.
But finding the best person for your business doesn’t really start until the interview process is underway. Only then can you get a ‘feel’ for the candidates and how their skills, experience and personality will enhance your team. Will they be able to do the job? Will they add value? Will they fit in?
The interview process is the best way to feel really confident you’ve got the right person in your sights. But before you start asking any questions, there’s a few steps that will help you get off to a great start!
A solid job description – make sure you know what you’re looking for
Hopefully, you sorted the job description before you started advertising – writing a good ad starts with a current, clear and comprehensive description of what you need the person to do, why you need them to do it and how you will evaluate whether they are doing it to your expectations.
A great job description has seven parts:
- Role summary – the purpose of the role and how it fits into the organisation
- Who the role reports to
- The tasks and responsibilities that make up the job
- The skills and experience required to do the job
- The personal qualities of the person who will work best in the organisation
- The Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) that will be used to evaluate performance
- Salary Band and benefits
Great interview questions – make sure you find out what you need to know
It’s true that you want your interview to be a conversation rather than a Q&A session. But this can sometimes result in an interview getting off track, particularly if you get caught up chatting about the last time you were in Italy, which University you went to or your shared love of dogs!
Like any constructive business discussion, a good interview has been planned to make sure you cover off on everything you need to discuss in terms of the job you’re recruiting for, while at the same time finding out as much as you can about the personality traits and work ethic of the potential employee.
The best way to do both is to frame your questions using the STAR method – Situation, Task, Action, Result. Questions like:
Tell me about a time when you got something wrong at work. What was the situation, what was the task that didn’t go well, what action did you take and what was the result?
Tell me about a time when you had conflict at work. What was the situation, what was the conflict, what action did you take and what was the result?
Tell me about a time when you had to ask someone for help at work. What was the situation, what was the task you needed help with, what action did you take and what was the result?
When you ask questions this way, you can evaluate skills and experience (in terms of the situation and task) as well as assess the personality and character of the person (the action they took).
The beauty of the STAR method is that you can adapt it to any type of question you need to ask to find out anything you want to know. Work out the essential things you want to find out at the interview and plan your questions ahead of time.
And the great thing about planning ahead – it makes the interview process much less stressful and much more equitable – you are asking the same questions of everyone and can therefore more fairly compare the candidates.
Sending the right message – make sure the candidate wants to work for you from the get-go
Remember, that candidates are evaluating you too when they interview for a job. They want to know who they’re working for and the values of the person and the organisation.
Candidates will start getting ‘messages’ from the moment you first contact them to set up the interview. These tips will make sure you make a good impression on them:
- Confirm the interview details – date, time, street address, name of interviewer(s) and a contact phone number in writing so the candidate knows you’re serious about the job and it also gives them something to refer to on the day
- Make sure your reception/team know the person is coming in so they can greet them warmly
- Make sure you’ve allowed enough time to do the interview properly – after all, this is an investment in your future
- Be on time – keeping people waiting is the first sign of disrespect. Or disorganisation! Neither of which will play well with a candidate.
- Have a clean and tidy interview space ready for the meeting set with fresh water and glasses. It’s not a bad idea to also have a box of tissues handy for that unexpected sneeze!
Good interview preparation gives you the edge on your competitors
The best recruitment outcomes happen when both parties feel confident their needs will be met. Candidates who have prepared well for a job interview know what they’re looking for and have usually decided what their deal-breakers will be.
Employers who go into an interview process with clarity around what they are looking for, are welcoming and respectful to candidates when they arrive for interview, and have appropriate and robust interview questions already prepared are far more likely to secure the right person for the job and the team.
This is even more important when your candidate may already have a couple of irons in the fire!
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