Recruiter's Blog

5 Tips for Conducting Productive, Informative Interviews

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This article from Style Search & Consulting, originally posted on StylePortfolios, provides tips for you, the interviewer.

Most resources related to the interview process are geared towards the job seeker and therefore focus on the interviewee. But what about the interviewer? The interview process can be stressful, not only for the job seeker, but also for the hiring manager interviewing the potential candidates. What are the right questions to ask? How long should the meeting be? How much information should you share? There is a lot at stake in finding the right person for your opening, and that determination hinges on the information garnered from the interview process. At Style Search, we develop, evolve and hone our strategies for your search based on your feedback from interviewing candidates—yet another reason why conducting highly productive and information interviews is crucial. For these reasons, we’ve put together six simple and useful suggestions for having a successful interview with any applicant. Whether you have a current opening or you will be looking for the right addition to your company in the future, implementing these tips in your current interview process can save you time in your selection process and help ensure you hire the right talent for your team:

  1. Ask both experience based and future oriented questions: These types of questions will help you to get a better overall picture of the candidate’s experience and capabilities. These questions also help ensure you are getting the most out of the time you spend with each candidate. Examples: Experience based question: “What was the hardest change you ever had to bring about in a past job, and what did you do to get the people around you to change their thoughts and behaviors?” Future oriented question: “Imagine that you and a co-worker disagree about the best way to handle the absenteeism problem with another member of your team. How would you resolve that situation?”
  2. Ask the applicant what they know about your company and how they can contribute to it. Ensure that the candidate has done their homework on your company and has thought about their contribution. This will show that the candidate has genuine interest in helping your company to succeed. It also determines the level of organizational commitment that the candidate will have if they are hired.
  3. Add a personality inventory to your interview process. That a potential hire’s personality melds with both your team and overall company culture is an extremely important factor in whether the employee will work out long term. There are many personality inventories in the market today created by reputable companies that are inexpensive and can help you determine if the applicant’s personality is a potential fit your company.
  4. Avoid illegal questions at all costs. Asking the applicant questions about topics such as their age, marital status, children/dependents, or religion are not only illegal but can be costly for the company in the event the applicant decides to file a discrimination suit. These types of questions actually waste time during the interview because they are not job-related and will not help the interviewer to ensure that the candidate is a good fit for the position.
  5. Unsure about a candidate on paper? Have a 5-10 minute “stand-up” meeting. Even if you are unsure if you want to meet with a candidate based on their resume, taking 5 to 10 minutes to talk with them on the phone or meet with them in person can make all the difference. You can determine a lot about a candidate from reading their resume, but actually taking the time to make a personal connection and hear the candidate talk about his or her experience verbally may prompt you to transition the candidate to being an active applicant. There must be something about the resume that gives you pause to consider the individual, so that is worth investigating. Sometimes the out-of-the-box candidate is the best employee. We hope that these tips prove useful to you in refining your interview process and result in more productive interviews which enable you to fill your openings with the best talent as quickly as possible. If you would like additional tips on interviewing, or assistance with constructing an interview rubric or template, please let us know.

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Style Search & Consulting is a leading recruitment firm dedicated to placing talent in the fashion industry (www.stylesearchusa.com), an industry she has been in for 25 years. Adriane Lee Schwartz is CEO of Style Search & Consulting. She is also a professional resume writer. Adriane holds a Master of Science in Management and Organizational Development and a Bachelor of Arts in Writing. She is a speaker and published writer on employment-related topics. If you want assistance creating a winning resume, Adriane can help. You can reach her at resumewritingresults@gmail.com. For questions related to your interview, please contact us at as@stylesearchers.com.