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Best Practices for Interviewing Candidates: A Guide For Hiring Managers

Fri, 14 Apr 2023

Best Practices for Interviewing Candidates: A Guide For Hiring Managers

Best Practices for Interviewing Candidates: A Guide For Hiring Managers

Interviewing candidates can be a daunting task for any hiring manager. How do you know if you're asking the right questions?

How can you ensure you're making the best hiring decision possible? Without a solid plan in place, the interview process can be overwhelming and ineffective.

CareerPlug's research indicates that a significant majority of candidates, 80%, have been influenced by positive candidate experiences when deciding between job offers.

However, a considerable 58% of job seekers have declined offers due to unsatisfactory interview experiences. This shows that effective interviewing is needed to ensure the right people are hired for the right jobs.

This guide seeks to equip hiring managers with essential tips on how they may conduct successful interviews while exploring various strategies designed specifically for evaluating potential hires. Whether you're a seasoned hiring manager or new to the role, these tips can help you conduct successful interviews and build a strong team.

Preparing For Interviews

The oft-repeated adage “haste makes waste” is especially true when it comes to the hiring process. Preparation is critical to a successful interview; pre-interview practice ensures that both the interviewer and candidate are ready for the meeting.

Prior to an interview, hiring managers must take several steps to ensure maximum interviewer readiness. These preparatory steps include researching the role, reviewing resumes and cover letters of candidates, preparing questions tailored towards assessing skillset and experience as well as cultural fit within the organisation and being familiar with relevant company policies and procedures.

Additionally, they should create an agenda ahead of time outlining topics they plan on discussing during the course of the interview. Having a clear idea of what will be covered before entering into dialogue can assist in keeping discussions focused while allowing sufficient room for probing further into areas of interest or concern.

Timely communication between both prospective employers and job seekers also provides invaluable information needed before conducting interviews, such as desired salary ranges or estimated start dates which could help inform decision-making processes down the line.

With these details sorted out beforehand, interviewing managers have more energy available for engaging in meaningful conversations about matters at hand instead of wasting valuable time trying to fill gaps in knowledge by asking irrelevant questions or discussing extraneous issues.

Ultimately, slowing down in regard to pre-interview preparation will result in a much smoother and more efficient interview session overall.

Crafting Your Questions

A successful interviewing experience requires clear objectives and well-crafted questions tailored to evaluate competencies related to the job role.

Questions should be carefully crafted to assess a range of attributes, including cognitive abilities, interpersonal skills and problem-solving techniques, and any knowledge or technical qualifications required for the position.

Additionally, structured interviews can provide insight into an individual's character traits such as motivation level, cultural fit, leadership potential, ability to work within teams and overall attitude towards their job responsibilities.

For example, to assess problem-solving capabilities, the interviewer could ask a candidate questions such as:

  • “Tell us about a challenging project you have managed and how you handled it.”
  • “What strategies do you use when making decisions?”
  • " What is your approach to dealing with difficult customers?”

These questions allow the interviewer to gain insight into an individual's methods for tackling issues or projects, as well as their overall approach to problem-solving.

When creating your list of questions, it is essential to consider how they will allow you to gain valuable information about each candidate’s abilities while also allowing them to demonstrate their strengths. This will enable organisations to make informed decisions regarding who is best suited for the position offered whilst ensuring fairness throughout the selection procedure.

Creating A Welcoming Interview Environment

The interviewer’s etiquette should be professional yet warm, as this allows for more open communication between both parties. Creating an atmosphere where dialogue can flow naturally and candidly is important so the candidate feels at ease.

When creating a rapport with your potential hire, it is essential to maintain a friendly demeanour and remain impartial to ensure a fair interviewing process. In addition, allowing time before the actual questions are asked will enable you to break any tension that may have arisen from anxiety or stress.

This will enable you and the candidate to get acquainted with each other and allow conversation topics unrelated to their background or qualifications, which could help build trust and confidence between you.

Additionally, having resources available such as water bottles or coffee mugs, conveys that you are invested in providing them with comfort throughout the interview.

Evaluating Candidates During The Interview

Interviewing candidates for a role is one of the most important tasks facing hiring managers. In this section, we will outline key interviewing tips that can help ensure a successful candidate assessment.

1. Prepare Questions Ahead of Time

Firstly, it is essential to prepare questions ahead of time which is tailored to the job description and relevant to the skills needed by the individual. This allows you to gain insight into how well the candidate would fit with your organisation's culture, as well as their experience and qualifications.

2. Don't Just Limit Yourself to Technical or Theoretical Queries

Secondly, do not limit yourself to technical or theoretical inquiries; ask practical questions about past experiences that relate to the real-world scenario to gauge a candidate's problem-solving abilities better.

Additionally, avoid being too lenient or harsh when evaluating answers - take notes throughout the interview and use them accordingly during your final review of all applicants at once.

3. Consider Other Aspects of the Candidate

Finally, hiring managers must consider other aspects such as attitude, enthusiasm and communication style when assessing potential employees for a role.

These elements may not be listed in the job requirements but could add value if present in an applicant – after all, you want someone who fits within your team dynamic and has positive energy!

How To Assess Technical Skills

When it comes to assessing technical skills in a job interview, there is no substitute for experience and expertise. However, as a hiring manager, you must be able to accurately evaluate the applicant’s level of knowledge and ability when it comes to problem-solving and technical understanding.

Develop Detailed Questions & Let The Candidates Demonstrate

To begin, develop detailed questions designed to assess applicants' technical abilities. These questions should be tailored specifically to the position being filled. For example, if you are looking for someone with programming experience, ask about specific coding languages they have worked with or projects they have completed.

Additionally, give them an opportunity to demonstrate how well they understand the concepts by having them explain solutions or solve problems on the spot during the interview.

Use Your Judgement to Evaluate the Candidate

In addition to the above, use your own judgment based on their answers as well as any other information you may have gathered throughout the interview process.

Evaluate whether or not they are capable of performing tasks required of the role - such as working independently or collaborating with others - and consider what contribution they will make towards meeting organisational objectives.

Understanding Non-Verbal Cues

In addition to assessing technical skills, interviews allow hiring managers to observe a candidate’s non-verbal communication. This information can be extremely helpful in deciding the best person for each position.

Non-verbal communication includes social body language such as facial expressions, posture, and gestures. By paying close attention to these signals during an interview, one can gain insight into what a candidate really thinks or feels.

For example, if they appear uncomfortable when asked particular questions or display frowning facial expressions when discussing specific topics, then it could indicate underlying issues that may require further investigation before deciding who to hire.

Understanding how candidates communicate with their hands and eyes can also reveal much about their attitude towards their work and other people.

Hiring managers should remain observant throughout the entire interviewing process to accurately interpret all forms of expression used by applicants – verbal and non-verbal – so that only those who will fit well within the organisation are considered for any role being filled.

Checking References

Once a candidate has completed the initial stages of the interviewing process, it is time to conduct an in-depth background check. This includes verifying their past work experience and qualifications by checking references from prior employers and other sources.

Obtain permission from the job applicant. It is vital that they are aware of what information will be requested and who will have access to those records. 

Then, contact each previous employer or reference source with relevant questions about the candidate’s performance, skill set, and attitude during employment. Additionally, any education credentials should also be verified by contacting the institutions mentioned on resumes or applications.

Post-Interview Tasks

One would think that the process of interviewing a potential employee is over, but not so fast! The post-interview tasks are just as important to ensure hiring success.

Follow up with the candidate and provide feedback on their performance in the interview, regardless if they were successful or unsuccessful. This is essential to maintaining professionalism and respect for all candidates who bravely put themselves out there during the recruitment process.

It's also crucial for hiring managers to keep detailed records of each step taken throughout the entire process, such as notes from the interviews, background checks completed and any other documentation related to the application. Once this information has been collected, it should be reviewed before making a final decision on which candidate is best suited for the job.

After selecting a suitable candidate, it's time to create an offer letter outlining salary expectations, benefits packages, start date and responsibilities within their new role, which goes to the next point.

Making An Offer

Once the most suitable candidate for a role has been identified, it is time to make an offer.

The compensation package should align with industry standards and fair market value, as well as consider any expenses associated with relocating or other job-related costs. It is also important that the terms of the agreement are clearly laid out so there can be no misunderstandings about what will be expected from both parties.

During negotiations, managers need to remain firm yet open to suggestions from the candidate. This approach allows you to ensure that all needs are met without compromising on key elements such as salary and benefits packages. Once an agreement is reached, it is recommended that a written contract outlining all details be provided to both parties for review prior to signing.

All in All,

Interviewing candidates is an essential part of the hiring process. Successful interviews require focus and dedication throughout the entire process. It is important to remain open-minded when meeting with candidates and considering them for employment opportunities within your company or organisation.

Following through on all stages of this procedure will provide you with valuable insight into each applicant, which can guide you towards selecting individuals who are capable of fulfilling job requirements while also fitting well within the company culture.

At Upscale, we understand the importance of managing the interview process with care and attention to detail. That’s why we provide our clients with assistance and support with every aspect of the recruitment process, from pre-screening to post-interview tasks.

Contact us today at www.upscale.my to learn more about how we can help you find the perfect fit for your hiring needs.