Effective Interview Tips for the Hiring Manager

Some good reminders for anyone who conducts interviews.

August 13, 1999
Would you rather spend the weekend working overtime than hire someone to pick up the extra load? If so, one reason is that you probably dread interviewing. Here are some tips for hiring effectively and making it enjoyable for both parties.

  • Plan the interview/hiring process
  • Establish clear criteria and be prepared to act quickly to hire a candidate who meets the requirements.
  • Inform the candidate regarding each step in the process:
    How many interviews are involved?
    With whom will he or she meet?
    How long will the visits last?
    How long will it take to complete the process?
    How, and when, will an offer be made?
  • Keep the interview process as short as possible.
  • Make the interview a conversation, not an interrogation.
  • Plan the interview/hiring content
  • Keep this question in mind when interviewing: "Why should this person leave his/her current position to join us?"
  • Introduce the candidate to potential colleagues who made the move to join the organization.
  • Make sure the interview team includes people who can address candidate concerns such as future growth, learning opportunities, local schools, etc.
  • Be certain that all members of the interview team articulate the same, consistent messages regarding the direction of the company and plans that will effect the new hire.
  • Take the time to ask what issues matter most to the candidate and what he or she needs to hear in order to join the staff.
  • Conduct a 50/50 interview: Remember that a candidate is going through the process of selecting an employer. Make sure his or her concerns are addressed. A good interview should be 50% assessment and 50% sales. Managers who use their listening skills to do the assessment need to remember to polish their presentation skills to sell the company and what is has to offer.
  • Look for common ground, matching company needs with candidate abilities. See if the company can meet the candidate’s personal needs such as security, growth, location, etc.
  • Be sure to discuss planned projects and business opportunities, as well as learning and growth opportunities.
  • If they feel good about a candidate, managers should close out their interviews with positive comments. If they want the candidate on board, they should ask, "Is there anything else you need to hear before deciding to come on board? If we can work out an acceptable arrangement, are you inclined to join us?"
  • Avoid interviewing by the numbers. If a candidate exceeds requirements, say so and prepare an offer. Looking for additional candidates for comparison's sake takes time and does not enhance the process. In fact, it may turn off a candidate who is prepared to make a commitment. The best candidates do not stay on the market very long.

SOURCE: F-O-R-T-U-N-E Personnel Consultants. Contact Anne Tommasi at 978-463-6600 for more information.