How to recruit great staff for your office – part two

Last week, we discussed why it is fundamentally important for business owners to hire the right staff, namely because strong employees underpin the productivity and performance of any well-functioning organisation. 

This week, we will cover one of the most integral aspects of staff recruitment – that is, the candidate interview process. While some owners may think that all this entails is asking a few quick and simple questions, the reality is that conducting an effective interview requires a considerable degree of forethought and strategy. If you know when and how to ask the right questions, you stand a better chance of hiring the right fit. 

Here are a few key things to consider about the way you pose interview questions to candidates:

Mix your questions up

Interviews often comprise a mix of prepared questions and follow-up questions based on the respondent’s answers. Of these two types, follow-up questions are often the most important as they function to show the respondent that the interviewer is engaged. And if a candidate can recognise that the interviewer is interested in what they’re saying, they’ll be more likely to give considered and detailed answers, which bodes well for both them and their potential employer.

Know how to elicit desired responses

Interview questions can be broadly broken down into four categories – fact based, stress, situational and behavioural questions. 

Fact based questions can be used to elicit in-depth information about a candidate’s resume by fleshing out specific details regarding the candidate’s work experience. 

Stress questions are designed to place strain on a candidate in order to gauge how they react to stressful situations. Examples include questions like ““why would we hire you over someone else?” and “what’s the biggest mistake you’ve made in the workplace?” While these types of questions can enable an interviewer to better understand how a candidate deals with stress, they may also damage rapport between the interviewer and interviewee – if asked at the wrong time or in the wrong way. As such, it is important to ask stress questions with a considered and relatively cautious approach. 

Situational questions ask the candidate how they would behave in hypothetical situations. These types of questions can be useful – however, they also often have an obvious “correct” answer which, at times, can make distinguishing a genuine response difficult. 

Finally, behavioural questions are based on the idea that past performance can predict future action. These types of questions usually ask the candidate to describe a particular situation in which they exhibited a skill or quality that is of particular interest to the interviewer. As these questions are based on past performance, answers can be verified to ensure that interviewees don’t posture and/or inflate their past achievements.

Knowing how, what and when to ask certain questions during candidate interviews can make a significant difference to the answers you elicit and, in turn, the people you hire. 

Check back next week for part three in this recruitment series, when will be discussing how to best extend a job offer to a prospective employee. 

Posted by George Tarbey on 29/07/2013 at 12:00 AM | Categories:

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