The Interview

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An important second step in The Hiring Triangle system is the interview. During the initial interview you are forming your first impression of the candidate and it can be used to filter out obvious non-starters.

One or more subsequent interviews may be required to give others an opportunity to form an impression of how the candidate will fit within your department or organization as a whole.

Preparing for the Interview

Interviewing job candidates is often dreaded on both sides of the desk. Most of us realize that the person applying for the job may well be nervous and anxious. What many people don’t realize is that interviewers often dread the process nearly as much as those being interviewed. It can be a real challenge to find the right person for your job opening. As lean as many organizations are today, it’s simply essential that each person in your office is not only pulling their own weight, but also making a meaningful contribution.

As the hiring manager, you need to identify the competencies important to the position you seek to fill.

When you have identified the competencies, you then need to write behavioral interview questions. Pay attention to the adjective, “behavioral” in this case. Behavioral interview questions are written to lead the candidate to relate specific incidents in which he or she has demonstrated mastery of the identified competencies. The theory is that if a person can relate an instance in which they have demonstrated the competency in the past, it’s a pretty good bet that candidate can demonstrate that competency again when working for you.

As an interviewer, it takes some practice to quickly identify when you are hearing a true behavioral response. If your candidate is using words like "usually," "always," "sometimes" or "never," then you aren’t hearing a behavioral example. If he or she is relating a specific example that includes a situation or task, the actions taken, and the result of the action, then you are hearing a behavioral example. Often, good candidates start their responses in a non-behavioral way. Don’t give up! It’s actually fairly easy to redirect a candidate to provide you with the kind of answers you need to hear.

Three Basic Tips on Interviewing

The following are some broad tips that will help make your first interview more productive:

  1. Hold the interview in a quiet, private area and schedule plenty of time.
  2. Put the applicant at ease by being friendly and conversational.
  3. Let the candidate talk, but control the question and answer flow.

Six interview questions you should ask:

  1. If you stayed with your current employer, what would be your next move?
  2. What makes you stand out from others?
  3. Tell me your greatest accomplishment.
  4. Give me an example when you took the time to share a co-worker’s achievement with others.
  5. Do you take enough time to make a decision?
  6. Will you agree to take our assessment tests so that we can jointly determine whether you fit the specific job qualifications?

Types of questions not to ask:

  • Age or date of birth: Unless you can prove that the applicant needs to be a certain age to qualify (such as for licensing or driving a car), don't ask.
  • Gender: The only place this applies is for rest room attendants.
  • Language spoken: Use caution. You may require effective communication, but you may not eliminate a candidate due to a slight accent.
  • Parents' or maiden name, citizenship, place of birth, and color of eyes or hair: Forget these; they could be used to reveal nationality or marital status.
  • Homeowner or renter: Don't ask; you may be discriminating against protected classes.
  • Number of children, child care arrangements, marital status: This is confidential information.
  • Club memberships: Don't ask; this can reveal religious affiliation or ethnic background.
  • Emergency information: Wait until the person is hired to ask for this information.

Please contact us with any questions or feedback at (505) 603-5503