Hiring the best candidate for a position is a daunting task. The hiring process is often stressful and rushed, as you are trying to fill an important void as quickly as possible. The best way to realize and hire the best candidate is to become an intentional interviewer — using adequate time for preparation, and basic interviewing skills to find your new employee.
When tasked to provide interviewing methods to a group of managers, I found myself combing through a stack of articles and books, seemingly encouraging the reader to seek the diamond in the rough. This method of interviewing suggests that the interviewer is a professional at deciphering resumes as well as tones in an interview, becoming a pseudo-psychologist. Then, I discovered this amazing resource: The Evalutation Interview, by Robert A. Fear and Robert J. Chiron. Originally published in 1968, this book is still as applicable in the office today as it was then, and simplifies the interviewing process so that anyone can apply the methods.
Here are the six main elements to a successful interview process:
1. Evaluate the job description.
Does your posted description actually reflect the position you are interviewing for?
2. Develop a list of required behavioral specifications.
Using the included forms in the book, compile a list of the characteristics that position requires. These include aptitudes, abilities and personal beliefs.
3. Do research on the candidate prior to the interview.
Especially applicable for the second interview, do as much research about the candidate as possible to learn their prior history and patterns.
4. Intentionally design interview questions to reveal behavioral clues.
When speaking of behavioral clues, I am referring to indications of a repeat pattern of behavior. This resource provides sample questions that are easily modified for the position you are interviewing for.
5. Perfect your interviewing tactics.
First, develop rapport to set the stage for open communication, and interviewee driven discussion. Use your interview questions to draw out the candidate’s history and behavioural clues. Make the interview a conversation and maintain control.
6. Interpret the candidate’s responses.
If your interview questions are structured to provoke a behavioral response, assessing the candidate in relation to the behavioral specifications that you have outlined prior to the interview is a very easy process. Rather than using psychology, behavioral patterns can show a consistency in character and action. The concept that history repeats itself is prevalent in the book, and while there are certainly exceptions to this rule, it is an excellent, conservative rule to follow when assessing candidates.
By integrating even a portion of the ideals in this book into your interviewing methods, you will enjoy a more systematic and thorough approach to the art of interviewing. Aside from being easy to follow and a quick read, the forms and sample questions provided in The Evaluation Interview are invaluable and I recommend a copy for your shelf.
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