How to make sure you get the most out of each interview

Peninsula Team

February 11 2014

The key to any businesses success is their people. Attracting and selecting the best talent available is critical for all organisations, making a poor recruitment decision can cost your business time, money and even customers! So how do we minimise the risk of recruiting the wrong person?  A good interview process is the foundation for this. Too many Managers rely on ‘gut instinct’ or a ‘twenty minute chat’ to make this all important decision. Invest some time at the start and you can save a lot of pain later! Firstly, understand the role and be clear on exactly what you are looking for. Do not focus solely on the experience or technical skills required, but think about other attributes or behaviours that are important to the role and your business. For example, in a Sales role an individual’s motivation and emotional resilience can be as important as experience in selling a particular product or service.  Product knowledge is easy to train; motivation comes from within, not a training course. Once you have a clear vision of what you need from the role it is worth devising an “Interview Plan” based around the key skills and behaviours you are hiring against. This ensures all candidates experience a consistent process and reminds the interviewer of what they are looking for. The interview plan is a guide not a script, interviewers should always look to probe and question further if the candidates answers are vague or lack detail. Making notes during the interview will ensure you capture all of the examples and evidence the candidate provides. Interviewing and scribing can be a challenge so use a colleague to take notes. If you have multiple applicants for a role these notes will enable you to review all of the candidates fairly before making your decision. Never forget that the ‘candidate experience’ is critical to the recruitment process. Even if the person is not right for your business, remember that you are representing your company and brand. The candidate should leave with a positive view of your company, because they will tell other people who are all future potential candidates. Finally don’t compromise on quality. Your people are your biggest asset. If you do not believe you have interviewed the correct person – do not offer them the job! Investing a little more time in finding the right person wastes a lot less time than hiring the wrong one. Wendy Moore Biography Wendy started her career with Penna Consulting working as an Executive Search Consultant for 5 years before moving to an ‘in house’ Recruitment Manager role with The Caudwell Group. Her most recent role before joining Peninsula was Recruitment Manager at M&S Bank.

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