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Effective Interview Practices for Employers

By Marbella Miller

Knowing effective interview practices are crucial in securing top talent for your company. With adequate preparation and a strategic approach, hiring managers can select the candidate with the experience and competencies best suited for the position.

The U.S. Department of Labor reported that the average cost of a bad hire can be up to 30% of an employee's earnings in the first year. Not only can a bad hire be costly, but it also wastes time and company resources.

Here are some best practices to help you lead the interview process in a meaningful way to land your next employee.

Prepare in Advance

Before an interview, carefully review the job description. After reviewing, create a list of the experience, skills, and education that will be required of the ideal candidate. Next, take time to thoroughly review the candidates' resume and cover letter to determine if their qualifications and skills fit the requirements from the list you created.

Doing so will help you prepare intentional interview questions and can assist in conversational topics. A lack of knowledge about the job description or required skill sets for the position will hinder you from asking the right questions and will leave a bad impression with the interviewee.

Develop Strategic Interview Questions

To get a more holistic view of candidates' qualifications, ask a variety of questions directly connected to the job requirements. Be sure to also throw in a question or two to assess emotional intelligence.

To get a more holistic view of candidates' qualifications, ask a variety of questions directly connected to the job requirements. Be sure to also throw in a question or two to assess emotional intelligence.

Save Time for Questions and Answers

Encourage and allot time for your interviewees to ask questions. This allows candidates to determine whether the company and/or the position is a good fit for them. This is also a great way for hiring managers to assess the potential employee's interest in the job and if he/she spent time preparing for the interview.

Keep in mind that candidates are also interviewing you in the process. Know the ins and outs of the position, the company, and its benefits so that you are prepared to answer questions.

Take Notes

Don't rely on your memory alone to record important details about each candidate you interview. Take notes and organize your thoughts so that you can review them later. You can also write down your overall impressions about a candidate after the interview and share them with you colleagues.

While taking notes is important, it's more important to be fully engaged in the conversation. Be sure to actively listen and make eye contact with your interviewee while you occasionally take notes.

Mention Next Steps in the Hiring Process

Don't leave candidates wondering about next steps in the hiring process. Either mention them at the beginning or the end of the interview. Give the candidates as much information as possible, including the timeframe you intend to fill the position, when they can expect to hear back from you, and what steps will happen next. Finally, be sure to follow through with what you say you're going to do. If you tell your candidates that you will call or email them in the next 48 hours, make sure you do just that.

In summary, prepare for interviews in advance, ask intentional and strategic questions, and have clear communication with your candidates. Implementing effective practices in all stages of the interview process is key to attracting and obtaining the best possible employees for your team, your company and its culture.

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