The U.S. unemployment rate of about 4% is the lowest it's been in 49 years. It's a tough environment for hiring managers when it comes to filling open positions.
Most job applicants seek the best advice when it comes to interviewing. But hiring managers also need preparation before interviewing applicants.
Ensuring you get the right candidate means conducting the right interview.
Here are 5 things employers and hiring managers need on their interview checklist.
1. Research the Candidate
Before the interview begins, research the candidate. You understand the company culture. You know the demands of the position for which the candidate applied. Take an in-depth look at the applicant's resume. Is she a good match?
Also look at the candidate's social media accounts if possible. A job applicant's social media gives you a good glimpse into his life and personality. Does he seem like a good fit for the company culture and brand?
2. Prepare an Interview Checklist
Don't go into the interview unprepared. You should have a checklist and an outline of how the interview should proceed.
The checklist should be something like this:
- Present the company's mission and strategy for accomplishing it
- Discuss the role, duties, requirements, and description of the position
- Know what benefits come with the position
- Prepare interview questions reflecting the necessary job skills
- Have HR review your questions for legality
Will there be other interviewers in the room too? Discuss who will ask what questions. Make sure you're all on the same page. One person should run the interview.
3. Outline the Interview Process
Provide name tags for everyone involved in the interview process. This saves the embarrassment of forgetting someone's name.
When the candidate comes in, spend a few moments outlining the interview process. This puts the candidate at ease because they'll know what to expect. It also helps focus the interview.
Let the candidate know he'll have the chance to ask questions at the end of the interview.
4. Write a List of Questions
Behavioral and situational questions are good for interviews. Check out the STAR method of answering behavioral questions. There are many good questions that you can make job-specific.
Avoid open-ended, cliche questions such as, "What can you tell me about yourself?"
Identify and combat your own biases when it comes to potential candidates. Don't make assumptions based on gender, race, weight, or other characteristics.
Make sure you know what types of questions are illegal.
5. Extend Professional Courtesy
You expect applicants to be on time for the interview. Make sure you're on time as well. Offer the candidate a chance to ask questions. Show her around the office. Remain professional and avoid getting overly friendly.
After the interview, follow up by phone or email about your hiring decision.
Now you've got your interview checklist, it's time to talk to the applicants! Start by researching your candidate. Prepare your interview checklist and have HR look over your questions.
Once the applicant's in front of you, outline the process and put them at ease. Use your pre-written questions. Combat your bias before, during, and after the interview.
Extend professional courtesy during and after the interview. Let the applicant know whether they got the job.
Are you looking for more helpful business advice? Take a look at our career blog.