Hiring new employees can be a time-consuming and stressful task. Not only are you balancing your day to day responsibilities and workload, you now have to identify the next employee for your team… and worst of all if you don’t get it right, you have to start all over again!

At Unity Search, we believe your next hire should be the right hire. To help, we pulled together the following ten tips to assist you in preparing for your next interview.

    1. Determine Need. Who are you truly looking for to complete a certain task?Although cliche, we challenge you to sit down before conducting your next interview and create a list of characteristics and skill-sets you are seeking in the ideal candidate. What technical knowledge is required to complete the specific role you are hiring for? What personality will thrive in this role? What personality will get along best with the team? By thoroughly identifying the true need for your team before you interview the candidate, you have set a clear bar as to what your expectations are.
    2. Research. How much do you know about your next candidate? Do you remember the last time you interviewed for a job? Did you research the company? Did you research the role? Memorize responsibilities? We teach candidates that is as important to interview a potential employer, as much as it is for the employer to interview the candidate. So why would you, the employer, show up unprepared? Research the candidate. Review the resume, the candidate’s LinkedIn page, and any additional resources available to you. Utilize the research to develop questions which give you a true understanding of who the interviewee is.
    3. Prepare the Candidate. Have you given your candidate all he/she needs to know to feel comfortable walking into the interview? To start off on the right foot, it is extremely important that the candidate feels prepared as they walk through the door. Make sure to confirm they have received the date, time, location and with whom (an individual, panel, or series of interviews) the candidate will be interviewing.

So you have determined who you are looking for and done a little homework. You may ask yourself, what can I do now to improve the probability of hiring the right candidate during the interview?

    1. Keep an Open Mind. Have you prematurely defined who this candidate is and whether or not they are right for the job? Don’t. Everyone does it at least once as a hiring manager. Just remember there is a reason either you, your HR team or your recruiter coordinated this interview in the first place. Keep an open mind and objectively interview the candidate.
    2. Set the mood. How much do you want to know? It is your responsibility to set the mood and create an atmosphere of comfort with the potential candidate. The more comfortable the candidate is with you, the more likely the candidate is to be candid with their responses.If the candidate looks anxious, have a good joke prepared. Even dry humor is better than nothing. Does the candidate look overconfident? They may just act this way when nervous. Try to create an atmosphere where the candidate can truly be themselves.
    3. Let the candidate talk. Are you talking more than the candidate? If you catch yourself talking more than the candidate, take a deep breathe and ask another question. Listening is key. You are trying to learn as much about this candidate as humanly possible, not give the candidate your life story. Remember you are not the one trying to advance your accounting or finance career, they are.
    4. Be Aware of Tone and Body Language. What is candidate’s body language telling you? Setting the mood for the interview is only the first step, you want to maintain a comfortable atmosphere throughout the entire interview. The easiest way to maintain this atmosphere is to get on their level. Read their body language. Are they looking antsy, stressed, frustrated? Follow their body language and copy it.
    5. Go Off-Script. Are you reading from a piece of paper? Nothing is more intimidating than watching an interviewer write down answers to stock questions on a piece of paper as though the piece of paper is somehow determining their fate. If you stick to ‘the script’ you also fail to capture information that you may otherwise need decide whether or not they would be able to do the job and would fit in with the corporate culture. Let the conversation flow. If you have a follow-up question that isn’t on ‘the script’, ask. You are the expert and you know what you are looking for. Follow-up questions and conversations allow you to truly determine whether or not this individual is capable of doing the job.

An interview doesn’t end once the questions have been asked and answered. Here are a few tips to ensure you are successfully assessing talent from the start of the interview through receipt of an acceptance letter.

  1. Good or Great? The candidate was good, but were they good enough? Using the position’s true needs you outlined in recommendation 1, rank the candidate’s ability to perform the job at hand on a scale of 1 to 10. Does the candidate have the technical skills necessary? If they need some or a lot of training, factor this into your ranking. Does the candidate have the necessary personality to effectively perform the job in question? If you unsure, give them a 5.When you tally up the final score, make sure to think through. If they had scores of 8-10, it is safe to assume that they would be a good fit. If their scores were 6 or lower for the majority of the questions, they most likely are not the next hire you are looking for. Trust your instincts.What happens if I am unsure if they can perform the job? This is okay. This is an opportunity to develop your interview skills in the future. For this candidate, schedule a follow-up interview. Make sure you are aware of the questions you are looking to have answered and make it a point to tie these into the conversation. Subsequently, you will want to make sure to note to yourself that these questions must be addressed in future interviews.
  2. What’s Next. What happens now? Keep the candidate informed. At the end of an interview, be sure to let them know your current timeframe for making a decision. If there are subsequent interviews, clearly outline what the next steps are in the process. If this is the candidate you have been searching for, you want to convey realistic expectations and set the tone even before they are officially on your team.

Although most of our advice seems straightforward, these ten tips can help you to ultimately determine whether or not you have made the right hire. We recommend truly practicing each to develop your interview skill-sets. At first, this process may add 15 minutes of work to your already busy day but it can save you hours in the long run of having to run through the hiring process again.

Still have questions?

Contact us by phone at 972-392-4000 or submit an inquiry online.