When you’ve got a position to fill, there’s a lot of work to do. From recruiting, to screening, to interviewing and offering, somethings can just take priority over others. However, if you want to make the right hire, you need to recognize how your efforts affect your offer/acceptance rate. One step that often goes overlooked is the interview process. Simply inviting candidates in to chat about work history and education isn’t enough. You need an optimized interview process to ensure that you’ve checked all the boxes and make the right hire.

The Optimize Your Interview Process

The best way to ensure you make the right hire is to put in some work before you even begin searching for candidates. Don’t expect a great candidate to just appear. Like most things in business, the harder you work upfront, the better the results down the road.

Know What You’re Looking For Before You Start Searching

Someone tells you they’ve lost something and they need your help to find it. Your first question: What are we looking for? This should also be the first question you ask yourself when you need to fill a position. When you know who you’re looking for before you begin searching, you significantly increase the chances of finding them. Some points may be:

  • Define the role (title, department, who they’ll be working with).
  • What would the ideal candidate achieve in this position?
  • How do they contribute to the bottom line?

Know How To Apply Your Evaluation System

Will you be screening candidates based on location, education, and work experience? Which criteria are most important? What are some things that can be left out to save time? You will want to rank different requirements, hard skills, and soft skills in terms of importance. This way, you can begin to quantify how well the candidate stacks up to your “ideal candidate.”

Create An Optimized, Structured Interview Process

Creating a structured interview process is how you make the best hire. When there are structure and purpose for each step, you are able to make assessments that make a difference. Some people go into interviews with no plans, no standardization, and just wing it. This is a bad idea. When you structure the process, you provide both yourself and the interviewee with expectations.

Example Of A Structured Interview Process

Step 1: Screen Applications

This is when the recruiter goes through applications and rejects people that are obviously poor fits and bad matches. This ties back to knowing who you want to hire. When you set standards, it’s easy to cut out people who don’t meet them.

Step 2: Set Up Phone Interviews

This is when you schedule calls with the people who look good on paper. You have a conversation with the candidate to learn more about their education or work experience. This gives you a brief intro into who the person is and what they’ve done with their professional careers so far.

Step 3: Test The Candidate’s Competency

We recommend you give them a job to do with a strict timeline. This is a great way to see their work product right upfront. How well do they complete tasks in a given amount of time? Do they focus on details and balance time well?

Step 4: Schedule In-Person Interviews

There are a few ways to structure in-person interviews. Here’s one popular way we think gets great results and is easy to implement:

First In-Person Interview = Company Culture Fit

The first in-person interview should help you figure out how this person will fit in at your organization. Show them around. Introduce them to people. Observe how they carry themselves and speak with potential team members.

Second In-Person Interview = Panel-Style Interview

Bring in a few members of the department and have them ask pointed questions. This second interview is more focused on the specific job since candidates who make it to the second round are obviously a good fit in terms of culture. Does their experience prove useful? Do they see themselves as a leader or a behind-the-scenes contributor? What do you value?

Final In-Person Interview = Manager + Candidate

The final interview will be a one-on-one interview between the hiring manager and the candidate. At this point, you are choosing between a select number of candidates who have impressed you and your team. You will make your final decision based on this interview, and offer the job to the best candidate.

Putting in all this work to optimize and structure your interview process is vital when you need a quality candidate. If you put the work in upfront, you will see better and more qualified candidates come out of the recruiting process.

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Quovis Inc. is a professional search firm, dedicated to building business teams with bright, productive professionals. From recruiting to consulting, our principals Brian and Dan continue to deliver exceptional talent and services while giving clients, candidates, and employees the utmost respect and support.