Home / HR Strategies / Conducting an Interview / Interview Strategies for Successful Hiring

Interview Strategies for Successful Hiring

Interview Strategies for Successful Hiring

Your company can increase its successful hiring by applying the right tools to the job, including effective interviewing techniques, thoughtful interview questions and well-orchestrated candidate meetings. Here are some effective interview strategies to get you started:

Prep Questions in Advance

Create a list of interview questions before the candidate arrives. This upfront planning keeps the interview moving quickly and ensures you get the information you need. It also helps you avoid vaguely worded questions that may be difficult for applicants to answer.

Choose the Right Interviewer(s)

The supervisor who will oversee the new hire typically conducts the initial job interview. If you are a small business with one person who will conduct the interview process, have other team members talk with candidates as well. Discuss in advance which topics each interviewer will explore. These interview strategies will generate more comprehensive information about applicants’ skills and experience.

Listen More Than You Talk

When the interview begins, make applicants comfortable by asking a few general questions, and then follow this interview tip: let them do most of the talking. Save your overview of the company and job for the end of the meeting. Otherwise, job seekers might tell you what they think you want to hear rather than speaking honestly.

Avoid the Tried and True

Interview questions such as, “Where do you want to be in five years?” elicit well-rehearsed responses. Instead, ask unexpected interview questions. Watch how applicants think on their feet—it is a good indicator of how they will deal with day-to-day challenges.

Three Interview Questions to Ask:

  • Tell me about a time you needed to learn a new skill.
  • Describe the worst job you ever had.
  • How do you motivate someone who is not doing his or her job?

Three Interview Questions to Avoid:

  • Where do you want to be in five years?
  • What are your strengths and weaknesses?
  • Why are you leaving your present position?

Elicit Practical Information

What types of questions get you the information you will need? Scenario-based questions, where you ask a candidate to react to a typical on-the-job challenge, can give you an idea of how a candidate would react. Questions that focus on measurable outcomes, such as “what roadblocks did you face on a project and how did you get around them?” give you insight into their pertinent accomplishments.

This is one of the more elusive interview strategies, since the typical path of the conversation may tend to focus on past experiences rather than what led to specific accomplishments. It’s important to follow up when necessary to get the specific information you need.

Talk About Your Company Brand and Culture

As a small company, your company brand is a crucial element to helping “sell” the candidate.

The first component of your company brand is reflected in the functional benefits that you offer, such as health plans, compensation, flexible work arrangements, wellness and telecommuting programmes. You should also talk to the candidate about opportunities for growth and career development.

The second are your brand’s emotional benefits. Touch on your company’s culture—what motivates people to work there, as well as employee-generated initiatives, community volunteer programmes and other company traditions.

The third and perhaps most important component of your brand is “the reason to believe.” Rather than give the candidate second-hand anecdotes about why your company is a great place to work, consider having one of your employee advocates meet the candidate and share their positive work experience first-hand.

Watch the Clock

Decide how long you will spend in the meeting and how much of that time will be filled with candidate questions versus your overview of the position. Don’t feel obligated to give too much time to poor prospects, but keep in mind that they are likely to talk about their experience to others in the community, and this can impede your successful hiring in the future.

Don’t Forgo the Second Interview

Invite strong candidates back for another interview with you or a team member. Ask new questions and repeat a few from the first conversation to test consistency. Does the second meeting reinforce your feeling that the prospect is right for the job? If you aren’t sure, don’t hesitate to set up a third meeting.

Leverage Your Interview Strategies With the Right Candidates

Your company is only as strong as its weakest link, which is why it is so important to find the right candidates and ensure that your interviews yield the best results possible. Even if you have fielded the cream of the crop, top talent may slip through the cracks if your interview process is poorly planned and executed. Monster’s recruiting and hiring expertise can help you build a team of A-listers, one hire at a time. Get started today and post your job for free.

Legal Disclaimer: This article is not intended as a substitute for professional legal advice. Always seek the advice of a solicitor regarding any legal questions you may have.