27 Apr, 2017

How to effectively interview a job candidate

27 Apr, 2017

A lot of recruiters can lose sight of the most pressing questions to ask in an interview and this ultimately leads to hiring underqualified people. However, there are ways that recruiters can improve their interview tactics and candidate evaluation systems, which will ultimately help the business perform better.

Focus on what's important 

Two things that interviewers don't focus on enough are a candidate's intelligence and competence. This can be a major problem because you end up getting candidates who sound great because they embellish their skills, but the recruiter ultimately needs to be getting proof that they're fit for the job.

Charisma can blind you from carrying out an effective interview.Charisma can blind you from carrying out an effective interview.

In fact, Dan Moore, an associate professor at the Haas School of Business at the University of California, Berkeley, says that interviewers favour candidates who are articulate, sociable, attractive and tall. While sociability and articulateness are important, they shouldn't be the main measures for assessing a candidate's ability to do the job.

Skills and techniques for preparing for an interview

Following a structured interview process can help you avoid falling for a candidate's charisma rather than paying attention to their ability.

John Dooney, manager of strategic resources for the Society for Human Resources Management, outlines some steps:

  1. It is vital that you look at the candidate's CV before the interview. As obvious as this may seem, it will get you in the right mindset to ask detail-oriented questions specific to the candidate's intelligence and experience.
  2. Write out all of the questions you want to ask. The questions should be expressly related to the requirements of the job.
  3. After you have thought of questions about their competence for the position, ask some behavioural questions. These questions should be as specific as possible about past performance in previous jobs. 
It's important to carefully analyse a candidate's past experience. It's important to carefully analyse a candidate's past experience.

It also helps to have a good candidate management software system such as Recruitment Systems' TRIS when assessing the candidate. This sort of software standardises evaluations of candidates because it can:

  • Automatically convert CVs to a standardised template.
  • Bring up all candidates with the necessary skills.
  • Track candidates. This makes it so different recruiters are able to share notes more easily.
  • Set up automatic communications at key points in the recruitment process.
  • Automatically generate reference checks. 

Organisation and standardisation is key when it comes to assessing potential employees. Processes such as these will ensure that you are carrying out a more objective, and therefore reliable, interview.