Hiring 101 Part 8 – Interview Outline

In this video, Recruiting Daily Advisor Editor Stephen Bruce provides an outline for an effective interview. These talking points will help you get the information you need while at the same time making the most efficient use of your time.

SB: This is Steve Bruce for the HR Daily Advisor.

This video is the eighth in our Hiring 101 Series. In it, we’ll explore an outline for an effective interview.
This interview will help you get the information you need while at the same time making the most efficient use of your time.

Opening and Greeting: Introduce yourself, shake hands, and perhaps offer a beverage. Spend a minute or two—but not longer—”warming up” with small talk.

Background and Experience: Begin to ask the standard questions (that you prepared ahead of time) concerning past work experience. Work your way through the candidate’s recent positions.
While you are listening, you are asking yourself—Does this person possess the background, traits and characteristics that we are looking for?
Remember to probe-dig down to real actions and actual results.

Special Questions: Then move on to the particular questions that you have for this candidate.
Creative questions
Ask your “creative” questions as you go along. Most interviewers like to warm up with more obvious questions, and to save “heavier” questions for later in the interview.

Now it’s Sell/No-Sell time: Once you have asked all you are going to ask about background and experience, you have reached the sell/no-sell decision point. Ask yourself, is this candidate worth pursuing further?
If you decide not to pursue further, go to the “no-sell close.” Terminate the interview as quickly as possible, while maintaining respect for the candidate. Do not ask any further questions and do not make a sell presentation. Just wrap it up.

If, however, you decide to pursue the candidate, use the sell close. It is now your job to make sure that this candidate is attracted to your organization and eager to accept an offer.
Tell the candidate about the prospects for the organization as a whole; for example, its new products, or its market share, and so on. And talk about development and promotional opportunities for employees. Give examples of others who have had this job and moved up in the company. Base what you say on what the candidate has said about his or her aspirations and goals.

For example, if the candidate is interested in pursuing an MBA, you can make this possibility part of the offer you may eventually extend.
But don’t promise more than you can deliver.
Then answer the candidate’s questions. It is here that you can find out what particular interests of the candidate your offer might be able to meet.
If the candidate has questions you cannot answer, such as a technical question about your operations, tell the candidate you’ll get an answer. This gives you–or the technical manager–an opportunity to follow up a few days later.

If you have made a sell decision, be sure to ask your administrative questions. For example, how soon would the person be available for work if an offer were extended; is the person willing to relocate; and what are the person’s salary expectations.

To end the interview, if you have decided no-sell, the closing is just, “Thanks for coming in, you’ll be hearing from us.”
If it is sell, however, you can be more enthusiastic. Promise to send materials, get answers to questions, and so on. Make it clear when you will be back to the candidate, and encourage him or her to call with any more questions or concerns.

If you are sending the candidate on to another interviewer, have the person sit in a reception area. Call to brief the next manager on what you found and on any specific areas you think need to be probed in greater depth.
Escort the candidate to the next office or insure that the hand-off is handled comfortably.
If the candidate is clearly not qualified, it is your job to cut your losses. You should not send a clearly unqualified candidate on to more rounds of interviewers that will only waste the candidate’s time and the company’s.

Be sure to view the next video in the Hiring 101 series about interviewing people with disabilities.

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This is Steve Bruce for the HR Daily Advisor.