I recently participated in a workshop for small business owners. The session was focused on human resource issues including hiring practices. There was an introduction to the “behavioral interviewing process” which is based on the premise that the best indicator of future behavior and performance is past behavior. Participants were asked to develop potential interview questions for their company and then do some role playing. Many business owners had no trouble doing this, but I noticed others struggling to determine what information they would like to gather to make a hiring decision.
It occurred to me that quite often we see articles or tip lists for interviewees to prepare for an interview, but rarely see any information on how an interviewer should prepare. It is quite important for a job seeker/interviewee to learn about a particular company, be able to articulate what they have accomplished and understand their strengths and developmental areas. It is equally if not more important though for the interviewer to understand what they are looking for in a new employee. I would suggest several steps that hiring managers can take to help them prepare for selecting a new employee and more specifically, an interview.
- Develop a job description.
- Determine critical skills and competencies.
- Determine critical behaviors and habits
- Review your organizational environment and culture.
Many companies have job descriptions and lists of critical skills, but hiring managers quite often don’t review these prior to the interview. Taking some time to critically think about what you want in a new employee can help you determine the outcomes you would like from the interview and allow you to develop questions that can get solicit this information. Once developed, you can have a prepared set of questions to use in the future if you plan on hiring multiple employees for the same position. Additionally, taking some time to understand your company culture will help you determine if an individual may be the right fit for your particular company. Remember, the interview is two way communication, so the candidate is also trying to determine if the position and culture will be a match for them as well. Strong information sharing during the interview may significantly increase your odds of selecting the right new employee.