I’ve been interviewing people for jobs for well over 30 years. It was my first job out of college. While the economy and types of jobs have changed dramatically during this time, many hiring practices have not! The challenge is that many companies must level up their hiring and interview practices to attract top talent.
Americans are quitting their jobs in record numbers, and economists say the Great Resignation will likely keep up well into 2022. (CNBC)
And now, with so many job seekers on the prowl for better wages, benefits, and working conditions, your hiring practices need to improve. Or, you’ll miss out on attracting and keeping top talent.
16 Tips to Effective and Productive Interviews
Leveling up means updating your strategic hiring process. Start by reviewing the procedures and tools used and upgrades NOW (e.g., applicant tracking system, job fit assessments, training interviewers, background and reference checks, etc.). The quality of your hiring process impacts candidates’ willingness to show up, ready for the interview.
First steps. These are a must and often overlooked:
- Review and update your company’s vision and mission. I’m sure it’s been a while!
- What are this year’s short-term goals (Q2 and Q3) and long-term (Q4 and Q1-2023) goals? Then, review with the management team and get into action. Top talent wants to work with companies that have goal-focused and results-oriented intentions.
- Review and update job descriptions and related policies to reflect employment changes (e.g., diversity, onboarding, working from home options, etc.).
- Create a 180-day Success Plan for each position. Keep it simple and focused.
- Update structured interview questions and selection tools used (e.g., benchmarks for job fit assessments, etc.).
- Train all interviewers. Hold them accountable for following the process and ensuring positive candidate experiences.
Second steps. Do the prep work before the interviews:
- The process starts when an applicant applies and before the interview. Be sure your ATS is interactive and provides links to answer “knock-out” questions and complete initial assessments. It’s essential that you readily respond via email, chat, or video.
- Don’t wing it. Reread job description and structured interview questions before each interview. Hiring biases and gut reactions are stronger when you are not prepared. Remember, there will be new biases. Examples: Job candidates are being interviewed in their homes and not in a professional setting. Or candidates are leaving their old jobs without new ones.
- Send out ATS reminders with time and date, length of the interview, name of interviewer(s), and job title(s), plus the URL for the virtual interview.
- Test virtual connections. Request job candidates to “test” the URL connection before the interview and resolve issues. Remember, home internet connections may not be up to speed with Today’s conferencing requirements.
Third steps. Conducting the interview:
- For virtual interviews, be sure everyone is visible on your monitor during group interviews. They must stay on video and not multi-task!
- Turn off electronic devices and other distractions. When everyone does this, the interview is more productive and saves time.
- Start the interview by introducing yourself (20 seconds). If in a group, have each interviewer provide a 20-second intro. State name, title, and how this job impacts their area. For example, “Today I am (or, we are) conducting the first set of interviews for XXX position. This interview will take approximately 1 hour. Have you scheduled this amount of time for our conversation?” (If no, reschedule to ensure consistency in the interview process.)
- Ask your prepared, structured interview questions. This structure helps compare candidates and is a legal requirement.
- Deep-dive into the job candidate’s answers by using Rule of 3. It’s essential to know the quality of their skills and their ability to use them in different situations. Also, their response lets you know the training requirements for this person to succeed.
Example of Rule of 3:
- What is one specific challenge you have faced?
- How did you resolve the issue?
- What specifically did you do?
- At the end of the interview, not the beginning, share the information below. Remember KISS (keep it simple and smart). Here’s why: You want job candidates to tell you who they really are … not what they think you want to hear.
- Vision and mission of the company
- Job title and top 3 to 5 job responsibilities (do not negotiate now)
- Quick overview of 180-Day Plan with a specific focus on Q2 and Q3
- DO NOT conduct salary and benefit negotiations until it’s time to make a job offer
- Share what will happen next with selected candidates (e.g., future interviews with team members, reference and education verifications, job fit assessments, etc.)
NOW! And, I cannot say this enough! Follow-through as promised! If you don’t, job candidates will share their less-than-positive interview experiences on social media! And, you will lose out on hiring top talent.
©Jeannette Seibly 2020-2022 All Rights Reserved
Jeannette Seibly is The Leadership Results Coach. She has guided the creation of three millionaires and countless 6-figure income professionals. During the past 29 years, she has become an award-winning international executive and family business management consultant and keynote speaker. Recently, she was able to add another brag. She has been an Authorized PXT Select/PXT Partner with Wiley/Profiles International for 30 years, guiding companies to hire the right person the first time. Have questions? Need help? Contact Jeannette for a confidential conversation.
Note from Jeannette about conducting effective and productive hiring interviews today: Preparation is vital. The quality of time spent on the 16 tips listed will impact your company’s bottom line, customer and employee satisfaction, and your ability to sleep well at night! Are you uncertain how to begin? Experiencing roadblocks? Need help with interview training or assessment selection? Contact me today.
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