Thursday, 16 August 2012

The Recruitment Process and the Perfect Interview

Are you looking to recruit the next Employee of the Month? Not sure how to go about interviewing candidates? Our key pointers will assist you in preparing for the recruitment process:

Read the candidate’s resume before to the interview – This will ensure you don’t waste time re-learning the candidate’s background and provides you with a good sense of what the candidate is all about and what they may potentially bring to the position. Additionally, it will allow you to prepare in advance additional questions you may want to ask the candidate in order to delve deeper into their experience, skills and interests.  Last but not least and in all honesty, reading a candidate’s resume during the interview portrays a totally unprofessional picture of you and, hence, the business.

Pre-interview questionnaires – In some cases it might be useful for potential candidates to complete questionnaires prior to conducting the interview. Questions can relate to technical experience, how they would deal in certain scenarios and even non-work related personal goals and interests to get a good feel of how the candidate would fit the culture of the business.

Do not discriminate - Under the Fair Work Act 2009, prospective employers are subject to adverse action laws where a prospective candidate believes they have been discriminated against. For this reason, you cannot ask the candidate questions during the recruitment process about religion, age, height, weight, marital status, disability, national origin, etc., unless such questions specifically represent genuine qualifications required to perform the role.

Don’t be selfish – Depending on the nature of the position, it’s more favourable if several members of the team are present at the interview. The greater number of perspectives gained on the candidate the better the final result. It also avoids having three or four interviews with the same candidate, which can be time consuming, especially if you’re looking at filling the position soon.
Take notes – Don’t rely on your memory to remember responses!  It also shows the candidate that you’re interested in what they have to say.

Create a plan for the recruitment process and interviews. Although every position and company is different, there are some failsafe questions to ask candidates:

1.       Start with an icebreaker – “Did you have trouble finding our office?”, “This weather is horrible, don’t you think?”, “Would you like a tea or coffee?”
This will reduce any nervousness felt by the candidate and create a friendly atmosphere.

2.       Determine the candidate’s level of motivation – “Why have you applied for this position?”, “What do you know about our company?”, “Where does this position fit with your career path?”, “If you had to convince a friend to apply for this position, what would you tell them?”, “How important is the salary to you?”, “What are your long term career goals?”, “If we hired you what would be the number one priority on your to-do list for your first day? ”People apply for positions for various reasons – by asking such questions you will be able to gauge their true motivation for applying and actual interest in the job and company. 

3.       Ascertain whether the applicant is qualified for the position

4.       Throw in some whacky questions – “If you won $20 million in the lottery, what would you do with the money?”, “If you could trade places with any other person for a week, famous or not famous, who would it be and why?”, “If you were an animal what kind of animal would you be?”

The responses to these questions during the recruitment process will demonstrate the candidate’s ability to demonstrate competence, deal with challenges and confirm whether the candidate has actually produced results. Have they responded concisely and used practical examples or have they tried to talk their way out of answering the question? Most responses to these questions can be easily checked during reference checks.

These questions establish how creatively and quickly the candidate thinks on their feet as opposed to reciting well-rehearsed answers. It also allows you to find out more about how the candidate deals with surprises and how their mind works without asking overly personal questions. Pay attention to the candidate’s attitude, how they approaches these types of questions and the ease or difficulty they have in responding.

During the recruitment process you should also provide information on the company and the position. Keep it brief but detailed and allow the candidate to ask questions – this will also give you a chance to see how interested the candidate is about the role.


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