After screening a potential employee based on their completed employment application, it's time to meet face to face.
Interviews provide an opportunity to get to know a candidate better and assess how their skills and personality will fit with the needs and culture of your business. Regardless of where and how they happen, or how many interviews you hold for each candidate or position, consider these critical factors:
- Train all interviewers. Interviewers must understand what to ask, what not ask and the purpose of each question, as well as their role in the hiring process.
- Consider team interviews. If several people need input, an interview panel may be a good way to expedite the process.
- Consider remote interviews. Technological advances enable companies and candidates to connect over the phone, via video chat or even using a recorded interview process where an applicant records themselves answering preset questions.
- Make the candidate comfortable. Introduce yourself, give a brief tour on the way to the interview location, and offer a drink or the opportunity to use the restroom.
- Remove distractions. Select a location where you will not be disturbed. Set your phone to Do Not Disturb, put it away and close your computer so you can focus on the candidate. Also, make sure candidates feel safe and not too isolated from others.
- Create a standardized list of questions. This will establish a baseline for measuring all candidates. But be flexible—allow for slight deviations if the conversation dictates.
- Ask questions directly related to job duties. Ask the candidate about their past experience or education in relation to the job you're hiring them to perform.
- Do not ask or discuss any topic related to potential protected status. This includes race, age, religion, gender, sexual orientation, national origin, citizenship status, family status and military or veteran status. If the candidate mentions something, gently steer them back to the interview topic.
- Be careful asking about criminal history. Depending on your location and industry, this information may be protected by ban-the-box laws.
- Set a follow-up time. Make sure you reach out to the candidate about next steps.
Affinity HR Group offers resources, including behavioral questions and a list of questions to ask and not ask, to help you maximize the efficiency and effectiveness of your interviews.