Calling all Interviewers: Don't forget to plan!

Michelle Donohoe 09.09.2014

There are endless blogs and resources for the new potential employee to prepare for an interview but not so many resources for an employer.

A candidate may spend hours planning and preparing for an interview and this is just as important time for the employer to prepare and plan.

Before the interview

Before an interview takes place planning has to be done. Identifying what the specific needs are to fill the role, the skill set required and the fit are all vital parts of the hiring process. You must know exactly what you need or what you are looking for before you go to the market.

At the interview

In relation to the interview it is important to remember this is a fact finding exercise. You must prepare your questions to probe and examine the candidates skill set and knowledge. When probing the candidate it is good to remember that you will not find the fully trained candidate but rather what you are looking for is a good candidate which can be trained to meet your requirements.

To help both you and the interviewee the interview needs to be structured. A good opening and closing phase is important to introduce the company and the objectives but keep it brief.

Ensure to make full notes of your questions and keep detailed records of what the candidate is saying. Ensure to listen to the candidate and take your time writing down each answer after he/she has spoken.

Past behaviour is a great way to probe your candidates approach to certain situations and what skill set they would use. Competency based questions are a great way to probe the candidates behaviour.

  • Tell me about yourself
  • How do you organise your own day to day work?
  • Tell me about a project you have managed and how you went about it?

It is important to pay attention in the interview especially to the candidate tone, word choice and delivery. Often body language can be important too. How do they react when faced with a difficult question? Is their body language showing signs of stress or are they holding themselves calm and collectively.

After the interview

It is important to keep the time between interview and offer short. In today’s competitive market your ideal candidate may have numerous interviews or offers so its important to ‘nab’ that ideal candidate before someone else does. Also if there is a long time frame between the interview and offer a candidate may develop an uncertainty about the position or the company so it is important to put your organisation at the head of the pack by making the process as efficient as possible.

Offer competitive salary and benefits

Another area to remember after the interview, especially when you think you have found the ideal candidate, is to offer a competitive market rate. With salary surveys candidates are well aware of what the salary would be for their current role and if you go in with a low ball offer they will be able to read this immediately.

If you are financially strapped there are other ways to compensate by offering great benefits. Health or dental plan, pension scheme, travel expenses subsidised canteen are all great examples to attract candidates.

Welcome the new start!

Once the offer has been accepted make sure to keep in touch. The agency may look after references and final details but now that this candidate is your new employee it is important to make them feel welcome and let them know they can pick up the phone if they have any questions or queries.

Once in the door don’t forget the little things - introduce them to their new team, show them around the office, arrange a social event to welcome the new arrival even a lunch will really make them feel at ease. 

So when you are going to market don’t for get to plan and probe – it is just important for you as it is for the eager candidate on the other side of the table!

If you are looking to change from your current role in the near future please do not hesitate to contact me Michelle Donohoe. I'd be delighted to assist you in your search.

Michelle Donohoe's picture
Talent Acquisition Specialist
mdonohoe@morganmckinley.com

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