Kevin Jarvis, director at Robert Half, provides new managers key tips for running a successful interview process.
Make sure you follow these tips to give yourself the best chance to find the right person.
1. Know what you’re looking for
Don’t waste time interviewing candidates who are a poor fit for the role. Draft an accurate job description, which will attract suitable resumes and separate out applicants who don’t match your needs.
2. Call on colleagues
Once you’ve established your potential candidates, assemble an interviewing team, including colleagues who will be working directly with the new hire, who can help you narrow down the choices into a shortlist for interviewing.
3. Always be prepared
It’s essential to prepare a list of questions before the job interview. Going in blind and trying to wing it may cause you to lose your focus or draw a blank. Having a plan of attack front and centre can help you retain control and get the most out of the discussion.
4. Ask the right questions
Use open-ended but direct questions – remember that you’re trying to find out information you can’t get from their application. For example, you might ask: “How do you organise and manage your time?” or “What did you love about your last job and workplace?”. Behavioural or competency-based questions are also helpful for digging deeper, such as: “Describe a time where you had to work with various stakeholders to manage a large project”.
5. Take down notes
Jot down key points during the interview – even if it’s a quick scribble next to a particular point on their CV – and then add more substantial thoughts and impressions once it ends. This way, you’ll have a reminder to jog your memory and it will ensure a more effective discussion with your fellow interviewers once it’s time to debrief.
6. Be quick to move
While you’re weighing up your options, your first choice may also be considering theirs. So once you’ve made a decision, and all the candidate's references check out, extend your offer as soon as possible to avoid losing them to another opportunity.
7. The art of negotiation
Conducting your first job interview doesn’t have to turn you into a ball of nerves. As long as you’re prepared, you know what you’re looking for and you ask the right questions, you’ll give yourself the best chance to find your ideal candidate.