6 Tips For Employer Interviewing Best Practices

As you consider prospective new employees, here are 6 proven interviewing techniques to keep in mind during the job interview process. All of these basic guidelines are designed to help you make sure you’re matching applicants to the ideal natural talents for the job to find the right candidate.

1. Hire for Personality Fit

Go beyond technical skills and understand the job candidate’s behavioral traits and personality characteristics. There’s an old saying that goes, “Hire for hard skills, fire for soft skills.” Obviously certain roles call for mandatory hard skills like a real estate license or sales experience, but there’s more to the role than the skillset. Things like emotional intelligence and behavior patterns are important to a truly finding the best candidate. Just be sure you and your hiring managers understand the required personality profile for the job.

2. Hire for Passion

Find qualified candidates who have a passion for the work and for your culture. The best companies understand that an engaged employee is a good employee. One recent Gallup study of 180 million workers, showed that only 13% of employees felt fully engaged and passionate about their jobs. Disengaged employees are the kiss of death to an organization. They invest the least discretionary effort in ensuring optimal outcomes. They take more sick leave, and damage overall moral. They also adversely impact customer good will. Make sure you understand which of these seven motivators are the most important to an employee: Altruism, Political, Economic, Regulatory, Theoretical, Individualistic, and Aesthetic. Then determine how the role will satisfy them. By doing so, you can greatly improve engagement, performance and retention. Look for a few key signs of engagement during job interviews. Job seekers who have passion for you and your business will have done interview preparation, have good body language, give eye contact when they answer interview questions, and overall give a great positive impression.

3. Hire for Future Success

Past performance is not a perfect predictor of future success. It may be a slight indicator, but none of the actual research has ever shown past performance to be a consistently reliable predictor of future success. Here’s why:

  • How do you find out if the past performance cited on a resume was even real? Due to our overly litigious society, it’s becoming the trend to not give references on past employees. That leaves you to assume what the applicant says is the gospel. You can then only infer that length of employment indicates success. Start by asking only open-ended questions during job interviews. This will help you identify the right person for your open role.
  • Even if a successful candidate did meet the job’s requirements in their previous role, the more the new job description differs from the old, the less reliable past performance is in predicting future success.

4. Hire the Full Package

Don’t judge a book by its cover… alone. Don’t be overly dependent on any one set of the following:

  • The personal interview. You can’t judge the quality of candidates based solely on your first impression of them. Some personalities do great in such situations, while others don’t. In other words, being able to speak well in an interview simply means that the candidate is just that and only that… able to speak well in an interview. It doesn’t guarantee anything more.
  • You may have a personal bias as to what is and isn’t appropriate attire to wear to an interview, and you may be justified. However, don’t let your own personal preference creep into the picture because you don’t like what they wore.
  • Singular items. You want to judge the entirety of the interview process, not any one single aspect of it. Just because Michael Jordan had a typo in his resume, would you pass him over if you were seeking a basketball player? Obviously standards are important, but don’t be so harsh that you overlook a great employee due to minor mistakes.

5: Hire with Accuracy 

Take resumes with a grain of salt. If you’re going to rely heavily on them in the interviewing process, it’s important to take a closer look and realize why resumes may be flawed and avoid getting burned.

  • Resumes are 100% self-reporting. You have to remember that resumes contain no statement of accuracy. Everything contained inside is subject to the interpretation of the person who wrote it (i.e., the one wanting to impress and get hired).
  • Resumes contain untruths. Studies reveal that approximately 80% of resumes contain misleading information. As many as 53% contain outright lies.
  • Resumes are historical, not predictive. Even assuming 100% of the content of a resume were completely accurate and true, it is still just a historical perspective of the past. As Rule #3 describes, past performance is not always a good predictor of future success.
  • Resumes typically omit negative information. Lies of omission are still just that – lies. While the candidate may not have outright lied, tactfully leaving certain bad news out of the resume is incredibly common.
  • Resume quality is not representative. The formatting and content of a resume varies greatly depending on what article the candidate read or which professional services they used. Some very bad employees spend lots of good money to get professionally edited resumes. Some great employees couldn’t write a good resume to save their life.

When in an interview, be sure to ask different types of questions to gain as many details about the candidate’s past performance as possible. No need to have an intensive script to follow. Using simple probing questions such as: ‘What happened next?’, ‘How did that impact the situation?’, and ‘Tell me more.’ help you to keep your interviews friendly and conversational.

6: Hire with Your Team in Mind

Share the love and conduct candidate interviews as a team. Whenever possible, using multiple interviewers to assess qualified applicants is the best option. It helps to significantly remove individual biases, provides extra dimensions and opinions, and promotes much better hiring decisions. Here’s why:

  • Sometimes a single interviewer might miss a detail or red flag that another person would catch. More hands involved in the hiring process means more accurate scrutiny and judgment before a job offer is made.
  • While it’s OK to have some overlapping questions to gauge if the candidate’s answers remain consistent, multiple interviewers get to engage the candidate from their business perspective and role (e.g., HR versus sales, and peer versus supervisor).
  • You will learn how candidates interact with multiple personality types, levels of authority and even genders or ages. Vice versa, candidates get a better feel for the people they will be working with as well.
  • Involving those who will be working with candidates after hiring helps to get buy-in from those same people. When they have some say in who is hired, they are often more likely to have a better working relationship with them down the road.

Include these simple interview strategies in your new hire selection process so you don’t think you’re hiring John Wayne on Friday and then Woody Allen shows up on Monday!