Interviewing is a central part of finding the right person for the job. Done well, an interview is an effective way to find out about a candidate but done badly, it provides poor information which results in poor decisions.
Proper planning, careful preparation and skilled interviewing can reduce the chances of this happening.
How to plan for Interviews?
1- What are you looking for?
Prepare a job outline and person specification and use them to establish clear criteria against which candidates can be assessed.
Weight the criteria according to their importance.
For example, a customer adviser might need communication skills (weighted nine), then team working (six), followed be technical knowledge (five), and so on.
2- What selection methods will you use?
Initial information can be obtained from candidates in writing and used to produce a shortlist.
For example, a CV or application form will answer basic information about experience and qualifications.
Interviews explore candidates' experience, attitudes and skills in more depth. The only interview stands a reasonable chance of success.
Important skills or characteristics can be assessed in other ways.
For example, psychometric tests can examine personality, ability and aptitude.
3- What type of interview will you hold?
Formal interviews, using panned questions to explore the selection criteria.
Less structured informal interviews to exchange information and get to know candidates. Try to avoid personal matters which may infringe a candidate's right to privacy.
Informal interviews alone rarely form an adequate basis for fair comparisons between candidates and final decisions.
Sequential interviews involve different interviewers focusing on different aspects of the candidates (e.g. technical skills). The result of each interview is used to brief a final interview panel.
Group interviews; involve several candidates, as an inexpensive way of providing information and assessing team working and interpersonal skills. The group interview can be too competitive and may not be suitable for senior roles.
To be continued . . .