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Seven Interviewing Techniques for Better Hiring Decisions

hire slow fire fastWant to spend less time managing performance issues?  Hire the right people. The right people make everything work. The wrong people drain your time, patience, and resources.

Instead of spending 60-90 minutes doing in-person interviews, which tell you little, give candidates a chance to experience the job, and see how they do. I used to conduct thorough, in-person interviews. I’d ask a lot of questions, and I still hired the wrong people. And as a result, we’ve changed our hiring practices at Candid Culture. We no longer do traditional, in-person interviews after phone screens. Instead, we watch candidates do parts of the job. Then we decide if we want to talk with them further.

Too many companies spend too much time interviewing candidates they won’t hire. You might have multiple employees interview a candidate. It’s not uncommon for candidates to meet six or seven people and spend an entire day interviewing. The ultimate decision maker(s) often interviews the person last, cuts the candidate, and thus wasted her employees’ and the candidate’s time. If you want your employees to be involved in the hiring process, have them interview only the candidates the decision maker(s) would be willing to hire. Why waste everyone’s time?

Here Are Seven Interviewing Techniques to Make Better Hiring Decisions:

Interviewing Techniques Number One:  Consider hiring a recruiting firm to source and screen candidates. Reading 100 resumes is likely not how you want to spend your time.

 Interviewing Techniques Number Two:  If you choose not to outsource recruiting, create a few steps for candidates to follow when applying for a job with your company to weed out the people who aren’t serious.  It’s better to see 20 resumes from serious candidates than 100 resumes from candidates who potentially aren’t really interested in your company.

 Interviewing Techniques Number Three:  If you’re sourcing and screening your own candidates, conduct thorough phone screens. Assess culture fit and candidates’ ability to do the job, and eliminate candidates who don’t meet your criteria.

 Interviewing Techniques Number Four:  Schedule in-person interviews with the candidates you’re interested in. Tell candidates they’ll be participating in a practical interview during which they’ll get to do parts of the job, so they can see if they’ll enjoy the work.

 Interviewing Techniques Number Five:  Have candidates do some of the work, observe them and/or the work they produce, and provide some positive and improvement feedback. If, after observing candidates do some work, you think they can do the job, and the candidate accepted your feedback without becoming defensive, conduct an in-person interview. If you don’t think they can do the job, end the interview.

During interviews, I screen for a candidate’s willingness to accept coaching and feedback. People who aren’t coachable or open to feedback are exhausting and difficult to work with.

Interviewing Techniques Number Six:  If you’re interested in a candidate after both the practical and in-person interview, conduct detailed reference checks. Never, ever skip the reference check.

Interviewing Techniques Number Seven:  Lastly, if you’re going to extend an offer, ask your finalists to spend a day or half a day job shadowing. Candidates and employers are on their best behavior during an interview and become more relaxed outside of the traditional interview. You want candidates to get a feeling for what it’s really like to work in your organization. Culture fit is the hardest thing for candidates and hiring managers to predict. Job shadowing helps.

Slow down your interviewing, be more thorough, and make better hiring decisions.

hire slow fire fast

About 

Shari Harley is the founder and President of Candid Culture, a Denver-based training firm that is bringing candor back to the workplace, making it easier to give feedback at work. Shari is the author of the business communication book How to Say Anything to Anyone: A Guide to Building Business Relationships that Really Work. She is a keynote speaker at conferences and does training throughout the U.S. Learn more about Shari Harley and Candid Culture’s training programs at www.candidculture.com.

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One Response to “Seven Interviewing Techniques for Better Hiring Decisions”

  1. Ruth Norwood says:

    Hello Shari- I have recently wanted to change the way we interview to meet your steps.

    Could you at some time talk about the exit interview? I recently did two , the process seemed like an opportunity for the ex employee to say everything we needed to improve. I already knew these things. Couldn’t it be a time for the employee to reflect on the “good times” so they leave with a positive attitude. What kind of questions could I ask to illicit this information.

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