Interviews: are you fit for purpose?

The ubiquitous job interview is a powerful tool in the armoury of an employee selection process. In most organizations it is the main process when hiring a potential employee. Everyone would agree that doing the right interviewing lands the company with optimal benefits. An effective and efficient hiring process is essential to both personal and business success. The optimal selection most often results in a worker who can put forth your company’s positive image while performing with accuracy and efficiency. Human resource management asserts that a group of well trained¸ conscientious employees are your most valuable assets.

Therefore¸ it is essential that employers have a game plan while going through an interview. To start with¸ one commences with adequate background checking and examination of references which are the foundation stone or key factors to achieve best hiring decisions. In this context¸ this article aims to provide the fundamentals for interviewing a potential employee. Everyone knows that interviewing is a subjective exercise and done unprofessionally can be difficult¸ especially because some candidates are better suited to be interviewed thus giving a distorted assessment of their true potential. Yes everyone tries to hire the best gifted employee since in this competitive world this should be your primary focus. Yet ¸ if you don’t have good interviewing skills¸ you may end up offering a job to someone who is a poor fit for the job or the company. Hiring qualified employees has become both an art as well as a science. One of the hardest parts of conducting an interview is to know how to get the applicant to open up and give you real answers. As the first interview is the doorway to a second or third interview¸ you have to make a decision whether or not to hire an applicant based on the 15 minutes you spend interviewing him/her.

The suggested approach is to be well prepared with focused questions and pay extreme attention to capture the candidate’s body language. Upon reflection¸ it is useful to stop and ponder for a moment about the last person you hired. After you selected them¸ did they work out as intended? Or did they turn into somebody totally unlike what you thought when you interviewed them? Naturally¸ by posing questions which are prepared beforehand gives you a leading edge. Even though you are busy (aren’t all managers?) it is very important to ask both open-ended questions as well as those that require detailed responses so as to properly identify latent characteristics of your applicants. First define the qualities¸ characteristics and basic aptitude you want to find in a potential employee. Then you have to develop interview questions to identify these characteristics. Try to ask a mix of questions to gain insights into the candidate’s behavior¸ opinions¸ experience¸ and background. Be careful – some candidates are smart enough to decode your plan and even in extreme instances hack the answers empowering them to respond to those tricky questions with “perfect” answers. And they are right¸ especially if you insist on asking their intimate opinion based on the job offered. Experts contend that asking opinion–based questions is a complete waste of time knowing that every candidate comes prepared to answer general questions about teamwork¸ initiative¸ interpersonal skills¸ and leadership.

That’s why you should