Interviewing candidates is one of the most common hiring rituals. It's not a very good hiring tool and can even make hiring decisions worse, but no one would employ anyone without conducting a (virtual) face to face interview first.

Luckily there are ways to make interviews more productive. First, a good interview is:

  • Well planned
    All questions should have a purpose. The answer has to give you a nugget of information that is useful in making a decision. After a well planned and executed interview, you should have all the information you need to properly assess a candidate.

  • Productive
    Don't waste time on unnecessary things like a long company presentation. Some specific information connected to the position is fine, avoid company history type of presentations.

Interview preparation guide

  1. Together with the client, look through the key objectives, basic criteria, competencies (especially “must have”) and compare these with the candidate’s profile data. Does it match? What are the possible bottlenecks?

  2. Go through the candidate’s evaluation sheet - what do you need to ask to be able to evaluate the candidate after the interview?

  3. Choose your interview questions
    Ideally, you should ask similar questions from each candidate in the same order. If you have a panel interview, let one person be the lead interviewer asking all the questions from all candidates.

    Make sure you have a question prepared for each basic criteria and a behavioural interview question for each “must-have” competence. If not sure, read about behavioural interviewing here.

    You'll find specific behavioural interview questions on competencies and values in the candidate profile:

4. Evaluate each candidate immediately after the interview. If you do a panel interview with several assessors, let everyone evaluate each criterion independently immediately after the interview. Don’t discuss your evaluations before writing them down.

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