Top Tips For Structuring Your Interview Process


by vested

Vested believes the external recruiting model is broken.  We see an opportunity to do things better.  Vested significantly reduces the cost associated with agency recruiting while providing à-la-carte services, full transparency, branded jobs, and a suite of assessments.


So you have prepared your questions, read over the candidate’s resume, and made all the necessary notations to ensure you ask all the right questions, what now?

Generally, the information you glean before the interview should indicate that the applicant has the minimum education, training, and work experience required for a particular position.

The interview is the time to verify this information and add to it.

We created a short guide to structuring the in-person interview process to ensure you can quickly assess candidates and make hiring decisions:

Let’s see what areas can be explored and what might be revealed about the candidate in each part of the interview.

1. Introduction and Small Talk

The first few minutes of an interview are very important because they set the tone for the rest of the interview. This is your shot to get the candidate to feel relaxed and comfortable immediately.

What’s the point of stating something so obvious?

This is your shot to get the candidate in their most natural state.  By breaking the inherent wall that exists in interviews, the candidate will be more likely to be talkative and open during the rest of the interview.

After introductions, take a few minutes for small talk on a casual, neutral subject.  You’re setting the tone for an engaging interview and promoting two-way communication.

2. The Interview

Before you begin the interview, make sure that you have identified 2-4 skills that you want to optimize for the role.  Three is a good number — any more than that, there are too many factors to consider and decision-making fatigue will occur.

Here are some skills you may want to consider:

1. Technical ability (i.e. accounting knowledge, SQL writing, etc.)

2. Communication (especially in client-facing roles)

3. Leadership experience (manager-level and above)

Once you have identified the top 3 skills you are trying to maximize for, you’re going to want to ask questions centered around each topic.  Some might be implicit – i.e. does the candidate communicate clearly and succinctly throughout the interview process.  Other skills you may have to explicitly test for – i.e. through a technical case study.

Allow some time at the end of the interview for the applicants to sell themselves by asking them “what they feel they bring to the job.”

3. Sell the Opportunity!

By the time an interview is ending, you should have an idea about whether the candidate is right for the job.  If you feel good about the match, then shift to selling the job and your company.  An effective interview is a two way street!

Good candidates have multiple opportunities to consider and there are several factors that go into their decision.

Start this process by asking the candidate what they know about the job and how it fits into their career goals.  By this process, you’re having the candidate visualize themselves in the role — and more importantly buying in!

Make sure you augment what the applicant already knows about the job with additional information and correct any misconceptions they might have.  You’ll also want to cover some other logistics including travel, ongoing training, and some of the group activities at your company.

Encourage the applicant to ask questions.  You want the candidate to have complete information and join a company that satisfies their career goals.  Be honest about what the role entails so you align expectations with reality — don’t tell a candidate that your company is in growth mode when you’re in a turnaround phase!

4. One Final Question

By this point, you may feel you’ve covered everything.  And you probably have.  But it’s always a good idea to ask one final question.

Ask the applicant if there is anything else that he or she feels you should know.  This gives the candidate the opportunity to cover any information you may have missed. It helps end the interview on a positive note.

Once you’re through, make sure there are clear expectations set around the next step in the process and when a decision will be made.

Finally, check out this useful video on recruiting from Google:

We hope you’ve found these tips helpful.  If you’d like more insight please let us know.  Vested is also offering a free, no risk trial of our candidate sourcing services.  Please contact us at [email protected] for more information.

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