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Interviewing – Be prepared

As recruiters we read about up to about 30 cvs a day. How well? Well enough to denote whether we want to speak to the candidate or not… We skim over hundreds of LinkedIn profiles – looking out for keywords and companies – it’s been reported recruiters spend 5-7 seconds on a profile!

While a trained eye can cope with this speedy process of elimination and the subsequent interviewing required, many SMEs are not really prepared for the recruitment of a new employee, even after their chosen recruitment agency has shortlisted CVs. This can lead to an extensive, drawn out process with the loss of good candidates, the potential for hiring the wrong candidate, and a poor company image being projected onto the candidate market.

Everyone is in a hurry – and a recent article mentioned how there is often no plan on how the interview process is going to be handled. In some cases the interviewer is armed solely with a resume he or she was handed that morning. The interviewing team often has no clear strategy for what each is trying to discover, and without a plan they’re likely to cruise through the conversations on autopilot, asking predictable questions and getting canned answers: Where do you see yourself in five years? Which project have you enjoyed working on most? What do you see as your main strengths and weaknesses?

The results of these types of interviews are usually inconsistent and don’t help you to drill-down enough to help identify the right person for the role and company. We always recommend that you take the time to prepare for the interview, deciding on how you will direct the meeting and what you really want to understand about this person by the time it finishes. It may sound elementary, but in today’s fast paced work environments, finding the time to prepare is something that many people neglect, but it could be the difference in hiring the right or wrong person!

In addition to this, without a completed job specification complete with the full description of required skills and experience, the interview can be made that much more difficult – causing vagueness around the required skills and candidates ability.
We like this quote: “If you’re too busy to make sure you’re bringing on great people, you’ll find you’re even busier later when you don’t have enough of them to help you make things happen.” This quote could be used in carious contexts, but for the purpose of the article – take the time to ensure that you have an effective interview process.

A plan is as important whether you are undertaking the recruitment project internally or via a recruitment agency. Allow all the stakeholders to have input to create the job spec – so from the beginning of the search there is a clear picture of what/who you are looking for. Have dates in mind for interviews, offer/acceptance and preferred start date for the successful candidate. Come up with a plan that helps each interviewer cover a different aspect of the candidate’s history and attitudes. Think of questions that will get the examples of experience you are looking for. Ask some difficult questions to see how the interviewee reacts – this may tell you more about their personality than they would ordinarily reveal in an interview. Ask all the candidates the same questions – how else will they measure against each other?

Look out for the next ENews from the Touchpoint team. We are on hand to offer support in all aspects of your recruitment plans.

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