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Leading an interview: tips for the hiring process

The success of a business is determined by the people within it

They act on its behalf every day and if the result of their actions is positive, the business wins; if it is negative, it loses. It is therefore surprising that the hiring process is often an unstructured and almost casual process.

Every new employee who is hired could be said to be intrinsic to the success of the business. Their performance will either raise or lower the overall chances for accomplishment of the business’s goals; therefore, it is important to address the hiring process with the same level of professionalism and attention to detail as would be expected elsewhere within the company.

Think about what attributes the new employee needs to have – really think about them. Talk to people who have previously done the job and to those who will be working with the new person, including customers if applicable. Write down a list of the skills and behaviours that are key to the position being interviewed and use this process to ensure that the definitions are clear and precise before advertising the position.

Having identified the key skills required, it is essential to work out how those undertaking the hiring process will confirm that the interviewee possesses these skills. Do you need to include tests, role play, simulations or similar? When the prospective employee answers the questions put to them, will these questions provide the answers needed?

Ask for support. Different people see different things; in addition, a panel of at least two people interviewing helps to ensure an unbiased hiring process. During the hiring process, also try to expose the interviewee to the peers with whom they will be interacting the most.

Avoid trying to use outlandish questions to ‘get to know’ the candidate; after all, the purpose of the interview process is to ascertain the suitability of potential employees and to give them a chance to show that they meet or exceed the key skills and requirements that have been so carefully researched and defined. There is no need to find out what their favourite childhood book was!

In summary, taking a serious and structured approach to hiring means:

  • Researching the requirements of the position being offered.
  • Planning how the candidates can show whether they meet these requirements.
  • Consulting with those who will be in regular contact with the new employee and those who have been in a similar position.

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