From Carol Brennan our Guest Blogger:
Carol Brennan is a freelance writer and blogger who works with professional coaching and training companies
Interviewing isn’t just stressful for job applicants, but interviewers as well.
If you’re nervous, you’re more likely to make mistakes such as asking the wrong questions, spending too long talking about yourself or even losing control of the interview.
Creating a detailed interview plan gives you confidence and helps you stay on track.
This is especially important if you’re interviewing several candidates on the same day.
Following an interview plan also ensures that each candidate is treated fairly and consistently.
By ensuring all applicants go through the same process, you can easily compare their performances and select the best person for the job.
How to Plan an Interview
Make sure all the practical arrangements are in place well in advance such as scheduling interview times with the candidates and booking a quiet room to hold the interviews.
Arrange to have at least one other member of staff conduct the interviews with you so you’ll get another perspective on the candidates’ performances.
Create your interview plan by dividing the interview into the following stages:
1. Meet and Greet
The meet and greet sets the tone of the interview.
You can help the candidate feel relaxed by welcoming them at reception, thanking them for attending and offering them a drink. Put them at ease by asking them about their journey.
Take the candidate into the room and introduce them to the other interviewers.
Explain that this will be a competency-based interview and you’ll give them time to think about their answers. Tell them how long each stage of the interview will last and when they’ll have an opportunity to ask questions.
3. Motivational-Fit Questions
Create a list of questions you’ll ask the candidates based on the job description and person specification. Start with motivational-fit questions.
Motivational-fit questions help you determine whether the candidate’s values aligns with the company’s. Ask the candidate to provide evidence from their past experience that they have the required values. For example, if you decide integrity is important you might ask, “Tell us about a specific time when you had to handle a tough problem that challenged fairness or ethical issues?”
4. Competency-Based Questions
After you’ve asked the relevant motivational fit questions, move on to competency-based questions. Asking competency-based questions should take up 75% of the interview time.
Read the job profile again to identify core competencies that the successful applicant must have. For example, if you decided that decision-making skills are important, your question might be, “Tell us about a time when you had to be decisive on an issue?”.
Ask the candidate follow-up questions and take detailed notes throughout.
Devise a scoring system so you can easily compare the applicants’ answers.
5. Job and Organisation Information
Pre-prepare a sheet as a prompt to give the candidate information about the organisation and job. Focusing on the company’s successes and the positive aspects of working there will help you sell the job to the applicant.
6. Candidate Questions
Invite the candidate to ask you questions. Make sure you are prepared to answer questions on what you are looking for in your ideal candidate and job details such as salary, responsibilities and prospects for promotion.
7. Next Steps
Explain the next stages in the process to the candidate, including when and how you will inform them of the outcome. Finally, take the candidate back to reception and thank them for coming.
Rainmaker Interviewer Skills and Recruitment Training Workshop teaches you step-by-step how to build an effective interview plan, so you’ll feel confident and hire the best candidate for the job.
How do you plan interviews?
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